In this age of social media and networking, people are reaching out rather than merely waiting for brands to approach them. As a result, discoverability is important – a brand and its offerings need to be discovered with ease on every platform. This is one way of putting your name and brand out there, in social networking.
But making sure that your brand is discoverable is not enough. Today savvy marketers are adopting the full measure of how people consume information and create buying decisions. Audiences are consuming media in different ways – through all kinds of screens, phones, tablets and computers. They have more control of when, where, and how they engage brands making the landscape for marketing so chaotic. But as a brand you should not only navigate the chaos, you should be enjoying it, because it’s so much more creative and exciting At the same time, advances in technology have also made relationship marketing and content marketing more effective.
Marketing based on relationship should make sure that all involvement channels are focused to advance prospects from awareness to consideration to purchase and use so that they become brand advocates. Is that the social media value chain ? Yes it is. I have even published a free downloadable ebook about this, called “Rock your identity” or “rock din identitet” (in danish) which is consisting of my value chain for social networking called the “social media value chain”.
To engage effectively in social media, it is essential to know where all those relevant conversations are taking place, what is being discussed in those conversations and who are the most influential conversationalists. Before you dive headfirst into those conversations, it is important to know that it requires full transparency – identifying yourself and your affiliations – and brands that have tried underhanded tactics in social media such as pretending to be someone else other than they are have generated negative reactions from the communities, often extreme ones.
But transparency is easy – it merely requires simple acknowledgement of who is joining in online conversations – “Hey, I’m from brand X, I hear you talk about this. Here’s our take on this topic.” Or even, “I see you have some concerns about the technology. I think this is where our technology fits in.”
You have to be careful not to engage mindlessly into any conversation, plastering sales pitches all over the place. If you enter in conversations that don’t have natural and immediate connections to what you’re dying to say, don’t bring it up. Just go with the conversation flow, participate based on what the community members are talking about, and stand out from the crowd by making thoughtful and intriguing comments.
By providing valuable insights to the topic at hand, brands can gain the respect of the community. And later, when the context is perfectly relevant, you can bring out your pitch, Or even if you’re lucky they will ask for your pitch themselves.
Surely, this will generate more of a positive impact on your brand by showing the brand is involved, that the brand cares, and that the brand is human.