Today's Twitter Topic is Tomorrow's News.
In the transparent world of facebook comments and twitter chatter, the speed of news through social conversation and consumer communication has companies scrambling for a brand awareness strategy that works for today’s media. The need for responding to that conversation will ultimately be the backbone of Brand Touch® in Web2.0. The evolution of how we communicate.
Why Should I listen?
Monitoring of social media can work the same way a traditional monitoring system works for print and broadcast. But, this is where traditional media will change forever. Others now have the ability to shape and define Brand, thanks to the availability of social media.
Brand Reputation Management is the monitoring of how your consumers perceive your company, products or services online. Ultimately, social media should just be an extension of your business ethics. Whether online or offline, reputation is centered on loyalty, trust, passion and awareness. Today, these perceptions can be generated and managed online using consumer feedback that is happening with our with out your involvement.
In my opinion, the movement in Social media has almost “leveled the playing field” for most small to medium size companies. Coming from a “Pay-to-play” world, I feel this is a nice change.These companies that adapt to today’s consumers communicate, will develop cost-effective insight that will lead to a better brand reputation and even opportunities to participate in the conversation.
“The largest social networking site in the world, Facebook, continued its seven-month rule as the number-one online destination among social networks, with 144.3 million unique visitors. US visitors are also on the rise, growing from 71.287 million in April to 75.444 million in May, with a year-over- year growth of 190 percent from 26 million last year.” -
Reported on the 24th of June 2009 By Lucian Parfeni, Web News Editor of softpedia.com
Currently most companies use Google Alerts or other tools to monitor online news. While this is effective in alerting us to “basic news”, we are missing many of the blog posts, comments and certainly all of the tweets, video mentions, microblogs and facebook posts.
In normal web analytics of traffic, the general practice was to receive monthly monitoring reports and act accordingly to the statistics (landing pages, bounce rate, etc...). In the fast passed world of consumer discussion and social networks, the need for daily monitor has become a necessity.
Finding a Tool That Works for You.
Business today finally have the availability to monitor consumer conversations over all forms of social media as well as the tone of their discussion. With these tools emerging, developing a strategy to monitor / engage the users within conversations and identify mavens or key consumers who already promote your brand or products will be crucial.
These monitoring tools can track positive and negative comments about your brand across the social media spectrum including blogs, RSS feeds, wikis, microblogs, social networks, bookmarks and embedded videos.
Key Goals for Developing an Online Social Strategy
• Increase the emotional depth for the brand promise of trust
• Increase consumer loyalty and recency
• Provide platform for newsworthy products, promotions, digital scavenger hunts, etc. Get Creative!
• Reduce the cost of traditional consumer communications
• Prepare for the unforeseen - Social Media Crisis Management
Developing a Strategy That Works
Plan > Listen > Analyze > Act Quickly
As the online social media landscape develops, a media strategy is critical. To monitor the online chatter about your brands reputation, in order to both understand our consumers as well as manage risk.
How do you want to engage your customers and from what perspective? Do you have an official Social Ambassador or is this done by your Chief Marketing Officer? Every strategy for this should be catered to your individual companies goals and objectives.
You develop a plan to listen to the conversation and a strategy for responding quickly - engaging your audience in a non-confrontational, helpful manner. Be translucent, forthright, honest and human. Remember, the “rules of engagement” will be different for each brand.
Some companies would benefit from developing a blogger outreach program, targeting bloggers who are most influential to their companies key demographics; building a strategy with clockwork communications that will allow us to frequently and consistently reach out to and respond to bloggers.
What to do in a crisis!
In recent months, several national brands have suffered greatly due to the fact that they did not have a sufficient online crisis management plan. Kentucky Fired Chicken is said to have lost millions in their botched grilled chicken launch when disgruntled customers hitYouTube with videos of their in-store experiences. (Even Oprah, who helped to promote the launch felt the backlash)
The lesson here is not to avoid social media because that will not prevent a crisis or a backlash. In fact, we know all too well that any crisis you may experience will find resonance on the web. Instead, it is critical to have an online crisis plan in order to swiftly react to a negative situation in a way that can reach consumers instantly and effectively.
About The Author
Thomas P. Scola Jr. is the Digital Manager at Rinck Advertising in Auburn Maine. With A BFA in Design and Information Architecture, his passion follows UI/UX Design / Multimedia Development / Social Media trends and the way communities interact using the social networks.