Companies are still trying to figure out how best to use social media to their advantage.
To help this initiative, two industry experts use a basic learning tool – the alphabet – to share informative ideas on what should be included in a social media strategy.
Shama Kabani of The Marketing Zen Group and Jennifer Wilson of Interactive Intelligence are the authors of The Social Alphabet: What You Need to Know About Social Media as the Ultimate Communication Channel. They start with A (Attract) and end with Z (Zeal), and throughout, offer insightful opinions on 26 topics that are key to social media strategies.
A common theme throughout this guide is that social media is a channel where consumers feel like they can be heard. The advice of these two authors is about being prepared to respond to these voices in a professional way that continues to promote your brand. Here are some of my favorites on this topic:
- Buzz. Kabani says ”Social media is a seriously underused lead generation tool.” But you have to earn it. Buzz is generated when you delight and amaze your audience and they tell someone, who tells someone, and so on, and so on.
- Contact. Kabani says “Social ‘ME’dia serves almost as a baby monitor for consumers. They expect to be heard and responded to (or they will just keep screaming).” Wilson adds that companies need a different mindset for social media, one that embraces a “relationship philosophy” that is prepared to respond to both positive and problematic responses.
- Guidelines. It’s a smart practice, say Kabani and Wilson, to have a company-wide social media policy, with well-written guidelines, especially for replying to consumer posts, which, of course, can be positive – or negative.
- Transparency. People are looking for transparency (and “Honesty” – another alphabet term) from companies. Those that provide it can win in the new social world.
Throughout the report, Wilson positions many of her comments around the contact center, with advice on how to be prepared to put a company’s best foot forward within the realm of social media. For instance, on the topic of Honesty, she shares that only so much is good over a social network. She notes that some issues may need to be escalated to a one-on-one phone conversation to best serve the consumer and protect the company.
This report closes with a five tips for building a social media strategy. The authors offer suggestions for such tactics as determining what your kind of strategy you need, how to allocate resources, and the importance of finding out what your competition is doing.
From A to Z, this is a fun read, and full of great advice that is sure to help you make the most of your own social media strategy.
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