But first, let us introduce the wrong ingredients
Businesses tend to start social media with a strategy that looks something like this:
- Goal: make money
- Plan: gather a following
- Action: create accounts on Twitter, Facebook, etc.
The problem is: this social media strategy will not make any money.
Why? This plan contains none of the right ingredients.
This page outlines the right ingredients for a successful social media strategy.
1. The Right Idea
First of all, it is no longer a question of whether to adopt social media. Experts agree that companies need to start using social media. Here’s what they are saying:
“Social media… is a way of thinking… It’s not about sales, or ads, or click-through rates. It’s about pursuing relationships and fostering communities of consumers.
It’s about rethinking how you make plans when your customers are in the center and in control.”
Researcher at Facebook
“Social media is the same yesterday at it was yesterday.
It’s just now reached such a critical mass, it’s hard to ignore.
You don’t want to be ‘that guy’ or ‘that brand’ who refuses to adapt to change and loses touch with reality.”
Senior Manager, New Media at Coach
With social media, consumers and their opinions can control any brand’s reputation. Companies that avoid social media put their credibility at risk.
It is important to adopt an active social media strategy with the goal of engaging customers. Successful and continuous engagement will lead to the development of an online following. Once this has been achieved, social media becomes an extremely powerful communication tool.
With this in mind, the right idea for a social media strategy is:
- Goal: engage consumers
- Plan: become active in social media
- Action: see steps 2&3
So, about that action plan…
2. The Right Branding
What makes a company cool in social media? The pros make it look easy, but creating a ‘cool’ brand image requires a lot of footwork behind the scenes. As with traditional media, consumers want to be impressed – and on the internet this is done with intuitive web interfaces and sleek graphics.
At Wisky, we take this seriously.
Our philosophy comes from the drink we are named after, whisky. In the world of alcoholic beverages, whisky’s image is exceptionally distinctive. Some people associate the drink with masculinity, social status, and prestige. The marketing forces that evoke these emotions come in many forms: elegant glass bottles, aesthetically pleasing labels, convincing marketing messages, and more. These forces have helped create impeccable brand images for many whiskies, and the most successful brands have swept the market.
Wisky believes that this example captures the essence of why branding is so important.
Whether you’re selling whisky or widgets, the necessary ingredients for a successful online brand include:
- Creation of logos & other graphics that will become the core of the brand
- Integration of logos, copy, and styles across online platforms to unify the brand
- Development of websites & other internet media that can effectively represent the brand
- Planning a strategy to maintain & develop brand image in the long run
A strong online brand puts companies in the best position to engage consumers.
That brings us to the final and most important ingredient: the right conversation.
3. The Right Conversation
Failing to start the right conversation is one of the worst mistakes companies make in social media.
It is important to understand the following points concerning conversations in social media:
- Avoid one-way communication
Never use social media to advertise to your customers as if you were shouting into a megaphone. Social media users can choose who they want to listen to, so megaphone-style advertising is out of the question. The goal in every social media communication should be to start a conversation. Pursue two-way communication by creating posts and responses that invite conversation.
- Share information that has value to people
Nobody wants to know what you had for breakfast. Focus on posts that will provide benefit to your followers.
- Be polite and respectful in all communications
Arrogance is never a good thing, and it can be deadly in social media communications. Treat customers and detractors alike, to ensure that no one will come away with a negative image of your company.
- Update & maintain profiles on a regular basis
Conversations can’t happen without active participation. Blogs, Twitter & Facebook accounts, and other social outlets centered around posting are irrelevant without a solid commitment to providing quality content on a regular basis.
To succeed here, companies must commit to starting the right conversations that keep followers updated with information they want to see.
Success can provide an opportunity to learn more about customers, improve reputation, and earn brand loyalty.
The Right Idea. The Right Branding. The Right Conversation.
Wisky prescribes these 3 ingredients to cure what ails you in social media.