What does it mean to be the social media person at a company? For the most part, it means managing the Facebook page, tweeting, and maybe putting up blog post and responding. As I have worked with numerous companies on social media, I can tell you this is pretty much their expectations.
Straight up – this is NOT enough. It will get you nowhere. And this is what I mean when I say the social media person has to be more than the social media person.
Let me give you an example of a project I have been working on at the practice I run for a marketing agency. I am the “social media guy” so when there are client opportunities, I get pulled into the discussion, strategy, proposal, and presentation. Recently we were working on a client opportunity and I was asked to define the social recommendations. As expected, I provided a content strategy and plan for Facebook management and tweets. Additionally, for this particular client, having their own community made sense as they have a particular strong advantage and opportunity to be their vertical’s leader. But I provided one other element as well – a personalization program that provided customization for each user as the starting point for community sign up. When I submitted this, someone who was on the team questioned why I provided a “product enhancement” as I was the “social guy.”
Why would the social person extend beyond social channel management? Because social media is NOT about building the “field of dreams” and having expectations that everyone will just come. It is a noisy world out there with no shortage of places your target audience can go to get compelling content and engage. In the example above, it was very important to provide direct user benefit in a short period of time. The personalization and contextually relevant user experience went beyond the set definition of social media responsibility. While a community is a great place to gather people with similar wants, needs, and interests, each member must get their own specific value from participation. This is especially true for the brand I was working with because they provide different value to different users based on the user’s specific interests and motivations. The benefits each user got from the brand was in fact very personal.
When you take on a social media endeavor, put yourself in the place of the user community and address WIF-M (what’s in it for me). There are tons of blogs, communities and sites that likely cover your brand’s audience. What is going to make you stand out such that you provide greater value to your audience over the competition?
Once you have defined this, what are you going to do to promote your social presence? In the past, I have talked about the importance and use of “Digital PR and Outreach.” (This is a very important aspect of the social media practice at MediaWhiz.) Let me expand on this one step further and show you three slides I often present to clients and prospects …
The brand relationships should traverse through the A-Path – a sequential process for brands to develop deep relationships with their target audience … Attention to Attraction to Affinity to becoming part of the brand Audience to becoming an Advocate. You start the early stages of the A-Path offsite. Then there is a cross over to your site or your platforms. You have the strongest success of the A-Path steps offsite in the beginning and the greatest success of the A-Path steps in the later stages on your platforms.
The next slide highlights A-Path execution off of your brand owned digital assets:
As you begin to build affinity for individuals, you introduce them to your assets (on digital assets). Affinity is the cross over point as shown in the slide below. The slide highlights moving your target segments to becoming part of your audience, and then actions to get a subset of your audience to become advocates.
What I have described above defines a holistic social media operation. Anything less will not yield measurable results. My advice to all of you is do NOT put the social media person in a box. If you are a CMO or other executive overlooking social media as part of your organization, demand more from your social lead. Got it? Ready?
Make It Happen!