Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Spotify, YouTube – building a brand or communicating a message may be easier today than ever before, but this online world requires more than just creating a few profiles to see results in the bottom line. It’s obvious that every business owner or anyone else concerned with their virtual reputation should be keeping any eye on how they come across on these sites, however there are many who lack an “intentional social strategy.”
To translate that term (as if there weren’t enough already in this online world), intentional social strategy means knowing what you’re putting out there, when you’re putting it out there, and where you’re putting it out there. Understanding these three elements and, just as importantly, having your employees understand them, is key to driving revenue and awareness for your brand while simultaneously avoiding the mistakes that befall too many (ahem, Kenneth Cole).
In our three-part blog, we’ve broken down a variety of social media platforms and their different potential outcomes for a brand who engages through them. Today, we look at some of the big dogs of social media and a few newcomers, too:
The big kahuna of all social networks, for many people Facebook is the internet. As such, any intentional social strategy must include a Facebook component that drives traffic to any site of your choosing, a growing Like number, exclusive offerings for fans and other benefit content (meaning a person who likes your page gets something in return through product or information). Brands must be active on their Facebook accounts, so much so that not even having one is better than having a neglected one.
The latest big buzz project from the online giant, Google+ looks to offer a more organized social network for users. The biggest catalyst towards this is “Circles,” which are groups of friends a user creates to partition shared information – the idea being some things you would say in front of your friends but not your parents, and vice versa.
While businesses have yet to truly jump on the Google+ bandwagon, the commercial uses for Circles are immense. Niche, targeted deals can be shared, exclusive levels could be created for loyal customers, and multiple campaigns can be run simultaneously to different groups, just to name a few ideas possible through this platform. A better organized social site, with targeted sharing of information is a trend that will soon become standard across all of social media and as such will require brands to understand how to traverse those worlds to see ROI.
The latest entrant into the world of online music streaming, Spotify is a Swedish-based service that made a splash after launching in the U.S. this year by requiring new users to be “invited” to join. One of the reasons this site has accumulated more than 1.5 million users in less than a year can be attributed to their social media integration – specifically, allowing users to send tracks and playlists via Facebook and Twitter.
This kind of cross-platform utilization allows brands (whether that’s a person or business) to engage friends and fans through a new avenue: music. Whether it’s a local coffee shop sharing that day’s playlist to entice customers to drop in to a CEO revealing his theme song of the week, Spotify offers brands an unique opportunity to go beyond the traditional business-customer relationship.
It’s helped organize revolutions and ruined the reputations of athletes, politicians and other prominent individuals, but Twitter also just happens to have radically changed the way businesses and customers communicate. The benefits of actively Tweeting include capturing real-time data on what followers respond to (deals, humor, videos, etc.), immediate communication in times of crisis, showcasing your brand’s knowledge of pop culture and other fast-moving trends, as well as taking the opportunity to steer the conversation to your liking.
It may seem like a daunting challenge, but don’t be afraid to reach out to experts to navigate these sometimes murky waters. Contact Buzz Mouth today to help you develop an intentional social strategy that works and drives results.
Part 2: Instagram, Flickr and YouTube
(photo credit: webdesignledger.com)