Jan 7, 2010

New Year’s Social Media Resolutions


We’ve  decided to offer a helping hand towards all marketers and brands who have set their minds on social media in 2010. These 5 resolutions are just a start. We’re wondering if you can submit more must have resolutions,  in order to complete the list into a total of 10. So insert your social media resolutions in the comments!

Here are our first 5 resolutions:

1. Make Social Media Marketing Budget Line Item

Most Chief Marketing Officers are massively tapping into social media marketing in 2010. They all want that golden social media marketing strategy for 2010 and beyond. The first tip that we have for them: make sure to create a social media marketing budget line item in your SAP systems asap! Without it, you probably can’t spend budget on Social Media marketing (SMM) and having a SMM strategy or roadmap for 2010 and beyond will not be possible. Beware! Perhaps it’s already to late…

2. Generate ROI Using Social Media

The smart marketers that already comprised their social media marketing budgets for 2010 some months ago: make sure your social agency provides you with compelling and viral content. But most of all: let them deliver you ROI.
It’s nice to receive 1 million views for your viral video, or to gain 100,000 new fans on your Facebook page. But these views and friends are worthless if your agency doesn’t deliver you the most important things within marketing: increase your brand awareness, create leads and drive your sales!

3. Start Listening To The Audience

Before you start developing your golden social media strategy, make sure that you have gained all the right insights from listening to your audience. Make sure you know exactly what the audience’s sentiment is towards your brand, products and services. understand what the share of voice of your brand is and compare you social status with your competitors. Social media is all about people, these people have opinions, which can affect the audience’s perception towards your brand.
So stop doubting whether it’s too soon to start listening to your audience, because they have started discussing your brand within social already years ago!

4. Develop A Social Media Strategy

We already said in 2007, again in 2008 and 2009. Now again in 2010: if you want to play the social game, you got to have a clear strategy!
We all have become very social. Even when we don’t really realize it, brands included. Many brands still try to scream to their audience, but they’re not really sure anymore if they are being heard. Social media is still growing rapidly and your audience have so many options to interact with their network. So how can a brand can become one of them and step into the conversation? We know that online reputation, ratings and reviews are the decision making differentiators in the buying process of digital natives and that advertising comes next. Forrester showed us that 92% of all 16-34 years only buy a product if social influencers , opinion leaders and their peers have written a positive review about it.
So if you want to play a serious role within social media, you’ve got to have a clear, long term strategy. Relationships are being build within long term programs and not within 1 Facebook campaign. It’s just as in real life, strong relationships are not just for Thanksgiving or Valentine’s Day, but for the whole year.

5. Always Remember The 4 C’s

So if you are that smart marketer and you have decided to develop your long term social media strategy, please adopt the 4 C’s of Community within your strategy, as published on Futurelab:
Quality content is a great way to attract people who are needed to form the community that your brand is hoping to build. All community initiatives with relevant topics and content, have to focus on keeping the content itself fresh and relevant, either by your brand or refreshed by its customers.
Context means understanding how and where to meet people, being there where your consumers are up and serving the right experience or content at the right time. Context means investing time in knowing how your users will want to engage with their community – and then enabling them to do so.
Communities thrive on emotional or sentimental, hard to measure activities that are relationship based. It’s not about mass communications but more about micro-interactions. Communities can in theory be the new CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool for brands, but require people to maintain good relations. This should tell you that if you’ve invested in building a community framework, you need to play host if you’re lucky enough for guests to arrive.
Communities which thrive often evolve over time to meet the evolving needs of users. Therefore you need to include functionalities such as blogs, forums and a navigation design which tags topics and references relevant products, a place where you can share ideas, vote for the best idea etc. Communities need to be flexible to evolve over time while still providing a valuable and consistent user experience which can be sustained over time.
So these are 5 resolutions we feel every marketer should engage in 2010. We’re looking forward to your inpu in order to complete the list into a total of 10!