The Anchor: 6 things every marketer must pay heed to on social media

29 May,2012

By Rajiv Dingra

 

Dialogue

The rise of social media has brought about an important change in terms of communication between a brand and its audience. This is the magical two-way dialogue that social media offers. The days of a brand ‘communicating’ alone with its audience are gone. People and users are talking with brands online, and in many cases successful relationships are being forged because of this. A modern marketer should design marketing campaigns with this in mind. Being open and honest in your communication is the way to go.

 

Equality

Social media has given everyone a voice. This is good because now you as a brand can get access to some ‘real’ feedback and insights. The thing a modern marketer needs to note is that every person’s opinion and feedback holds value. You cannot just concentrate on the good things being said about your brand. You cannot afford to ignore anyone on your social platforms anymore. Instead delve deep into criticism and focus on how you can make it better for the person who has complained. This action will firstly get you a loyal consumer and all your fans and followers on your social pages will see this and react well to your brand.

 

Brand reputation

A brand’s reputation on social media hangs by a thread. One small negligent step can snowball into a huge media avalanche which can tarnish the brand that you have worked so hard to build. A lot of importance should thus be given to the content that you post on your social media platforms in terms of topic, context and viewpoints. It is good for a brand to believe in something, but at the same time ensure that whatever you post, it should not be construed in a negative way by your audiences. Stay away from controversies in your updates and even in your conversations with your audiences.

 

Innovation

Far too many times has the word, innovation been abused by peddlers of jargon. Real innovation is much more than that! First, you as marketer need to understand that innovations can be brought about by changing the way you view social platforms. Social media is not just your everyday media platform. It lives and breathes as a giant collective. The real question is ‘how do you inform and engage audiences instead of shoving your product down their face all the time?’ The second thing is to accept that not everything will be ‘viral’. As opposed to popular belief in marketing circles, you don’t conceive a viral video; it gets viral because it is good and marketed in the right way. Don’t let things settle down into a comfortable process. Experiment with your brands and your communication and then maybe you will succeed in getting something ‘viral’ done.

 

Different platform, different strategy

You can call it ‘Social Media’ for your ease but do not treat individual social media platforms as one. Ever. The ‘horses for courses’ approach is what needs to be taken to do well on Social Media. Every platform is distinctive in terms of features, UI, brand communication possibilities and its audience. You must learn to differentiate between platforms based on the parameters mentioned above. It might be easier to develop a broad social media strategy and deploy it, but trust me, it does not really work well for your brand. Learn the platform. Figure out the platform’s strength and weaknesses and position yourself accordingly. LinkedIn is a professional social network. How can your brand leverage this? If you can find more than one meaningful way, then get onto it and work your magic.

 

Social is all about real-time

Things move fast these days. The technology, the devices, the platforms and finally your audience. Never let anyone move faster than you. If your brand has to resonate with your consumer then it has to be perceived as fast, hip and trendy! This translates into a lot of effort for marketing. Dive headlong into the latest things, trends and crazes and figure out the potential they hold for your brands. Like I said before, take more risks! Don’t wait for someone else to try something out first, as this will only affect you negatively. These days there is a lot of buzz about Pinterest! If you are a retail brand or a restaurant, it is brilliant because of its visual nature. The first mover advantage is really very crucial in social media. Be prepared to think real-time or be prepared to be left behind!

 

Rajiv Dingra is Founder and CEO of WATConsult

 

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