Social media is one of the most talked-about topics in marketing and PR right now, and it is generally accepted that all brands need to integrate social media into their marketing and PR strategies. However, to lots of traditional PRs and marketers it can be a daunting prospect so we have put together our top five tips to get you started:
1. Develop social media company guidelines before you start, as social media is very fast and once a comment is in cyberspace it cannot be totally deleted. It is good to get the whole company involved, as it creates dynamic and informed content, but if you do that means these guidelines are even more important. Guidelines could include
- Be professional
- Be responsive
- Use common sense
- Pause and think before you post
- Respect the law
- Consider potential confidentiality and copyright issues before you post
- Never post under the influence of drugs or alcohol
2. Define your objectives. Don't just jump on the facebook bandwagon because everyone else is, consider who you want to reach and why you want to reach them. Do you need to drive web traffic, sales or brand awareness? Which networks are your target audience already using?
3. Monitor existing mentions of your brand online, and those of your competitors. Find out where people are already talking about you, and what the general sentiment is before you engage.
4. Remember that you cannot just dip in and out of an online campaign. Once you have planned your strategy ensure that you have employed an agency or in-house staff who have sufficient time to monitor and respond quickly and effectively to any requests, questions, trends or negative comments amongst the online community, as a dead twitter feed or facebook page could cause more damage to your brand than to not have one at all.
5. Stories can travel unbelievably fast within social media, and ignoring a problem will only exacerbate it and cause it to 'snowball'. Develop a crisis strategy specific to social media and integrate it into your existing strategy. If a negative story breaks about your brand, who will be monitoring online mentions and responding quickly? Often consumers simply want to be kept informed so effective use of social media can quickly quell any bad feeling. For example, when Eurostar were experiencing delays and cancellations at the end of 2009, no one was monitoring their twitter feed and this was quickly raised as an issue by customers on the national news, emphasising customer expectations once a company has a presence in social media.
bgb can assist you with all elements of your social media strategy and we are also experts in natural search, driving your website to where you need to be in the search engine results pages. Contact us here to find out more.