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From the author of Focus on the Campaign, Not Social Media

Develop a Story/Brand

Social media should be treated like another campaign, which has been developed in retail. An exciting offer, story, and brand around the campaign need to be developed to grab the attention of the user.

It's not enough to have a social media channel; constant promotion and effort to interact on these channels with your audience is required.

In our example, Dell's main message or story was the use of an interactive channel to inform users in real time of Dell's special offers. Customers followed the channel to look for deals in the quickest way—using Twitter.

Dell also created a blogging platform, called Direct2Dell, to inform computer enthusiasts about the industry and interesting news and events. This content creation and distribution helped Dell generate a new revenue channel.

Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

Social media channels help influence your audience in a variety of ways—including increasing sales, loyalty, and brand awareness. Some audiences might be attracted to some channels more than others; keeping this in mind, a brand should launch its social media campaigns in more than one channel.

The ideal number of channels in my experience is anything between two–four. Launching a social media campaign in more than four channels makes it incredibly hard to respond and be effective and totally interactive.

Even Dell launched its social media strategy with a blog, idea storm (social network for ideas from users), and Twitter. Although since then it has expanded to develop forums and Facebook fan pages.

What is required is a holistic approach to using social media as a strategy and the backing of the company's stakeholders to agree and deploy resources.

Taking advantage of social media is an effective way for brands to improve their interaction and business opportunities.

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