Is it worth spending $$ on social media?

12 10 2010

Everyone is jumping on the facebook, twttter wagon. Is this creating more brand awareness, product knowledge or enagaging with your ultimate customer. This is a grey area in many companies, combined with fear and not wanting to miss out either. This article by Kevin Mackin discusses why everyone wants a facebook page but no one is sure why?! Source: Marketing Mag

I work within the not-for-profit sector and we are looking to get on board with social media and relationship marketing using the internet. With so many social media applications available it can challenging to work out what is right for your business this article helps to dispel some of the questions we have. Chaffey et al explain that it is essential to use relationship marketing to build long-term relationships and build repeat visitors.

Social media is creating a two way dialogue for customers and organisations. By using a content management system organisations have the ability to track the success of their campaigns and can filter down to those people that have deleted emails, opened the email or clicked through to their landing page. This is an insight into the consumer’s buyer behaviour and into understanding their needs and wants even more. It is also a way to capture what time of impact your message is having and an opportunity to test the market before branching into mass marketing. Organisations need to put risk management plans in place incase a disgruntled employee posted nasty blogs, made a non favourable comments on their wall or a not so favourable tweet. It could be detrimental to an organisation if the post if left on the wall for all to view and comment. Many health organisations are fearful of these occurrences, can you imagine if a consumer posted their tips on how to manage a health condition and a follower decided that they would do what they suggested. It could be a disaster if this person was to become ill or if there was a fatality as a result of this.

While there are many opportunities to consider organisations must not go in blind folded and they need to consider the threats out in the world wide internet land too. Not so long ago we relied on faxes and snail mail to deliver urgent messages, today it is a matter of typing in the email address and then the magic takes place to deliver your urgent correspondence. There are other opportunities which organisations should consider such as banner advertisement on forums which represent their target market and Google ad words to name a few. A quick search shows how inexpensive some of the key search words are companies should look to include a line in the budget for the Google ad words – after all they do deliver the consumer to their website.

You tube is an interesting topic, for those of you who have not seen this lets have a look at Carlton Draught Big beer ad which Josh told us about in week 2 or 3. This ad went viral and years later people are still talking about it.  For those organisations that have the resources to invest in a quality video such as this they can reap huge rewards and increase the brand awareness and include a call-to-action also.

Mackin makes it very clear that organisations need to understand what type of effect a video can have or otherwise this could be a wasted opportunity. Mackin also mentions that we shouldn’t be afraid of user generated content as it can be a great way to optimise future campaigns and to assist with new product development. We need to remember that the conversations about our organisations are already happening away from the computer – people talk and this is what we want them to do to spread the message on and to create more brand awareness, product sales and ultimately increased revenue!




One response

17 10 2010

Your comments in regards to organisation’s need to be monitoring social media sites to ensure customer’s negative (and positive) feedback is acknowledged and responded to is an interesting one.

One of the key misconceptions about blogs and forums is that they require constant vigilance and heavy resourcing internally to maintain and remain up to date with new content that could potentially damage an organisation’s reputation. Whilst there is no doubt that customer’s will use it to voice disasstifaction, customer’s themselves may respond to other customer’s negativity with a positive experience they may have received, one they may never felt the urge to share prior.

Additonally, it’s a view widely shared amongst social media advocates that by acknowledging poor customer service, as well as publicly addressing a customer’s complaints, an organsiation can begin to rebuild their relationship with their customers.

I work for a large organisation that is very slow to change. Unfortunately, we aren’t the only ones. Social Media experts believe there are a five key reasons why big companies are slow to adopt social media as part of their intergated marketing strategy:

1. They beleive it’s too time consuming
2. They think it’s still early days
3. Where’s the proof that it works?
4. Their competitors aren’t doing it
5. They think their customers don’t use it
(Source: Andy Beaupre)

Actually, social media sites have been gathering momentum over the last decade. An organisation’s social media website, once established, requires very little maintenance and should be considered as just one part of an integrated marketing approach. The only way it work successfully is if business invest in it, take the time to understand it and use it effectively – otherwise, like all other advertising, it simply won’t work. It’s only a matter of time before their competitor’s will be doing using it – and so will their competitor’s customers (and their own).

I often sit at my desk and ask myself what can I do to influence senior management to understand the importance of social media and sign it off for upcoming marketing campaigns? If anyone has any suggestions, I’d be glad to hear them!

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