Wednesday, 3 December 2014

10 tips for marketers using social media to increase user engagement.


Facebook on mobile
 Brands should not use platforms such as Facebook to broadcast their marketing message. Photograph: Graeme Robertson/Graeme Robertson

Social media is about people 

Anna Lawlor, journalist, content creator and co-director, Social i Media
It’s not just about using new platforms and tools for the sake of it, I think it’s important to remember how crucial the old fashioned relationship and business communications are. Relationship capital...should be at the heart of any brand’s social media activity. Ultimately, social is about people. I wonder whether social technologies are increasingly separating us from this human touch whereas social technologies should be used as complementary/value-added facilitators.

Focus on your audience, not platform

Sam Haseltine, solution consultant, Adobe
Your marketable audience changes far less frequently than social platforms. Focus on them and where they’re at. Tumblr is by no means a new platform, but if that’s where your audience are moving to, you should be there. But validate it first.

Don’t use social media as a broadcast tool

Anna Lawlor, journalist, content creator and co-director, Social i Media
I think too many marketers have simply shifted their traditional approaches onto the social media platform, which has made it too much of a broadcast mechanism. The more successful brands use social to actually talk with (ie engage) their social connections. This shows the extent to which social media marketing, as a business function, needs to mature.

Let’s rethink how we use social media to reach customers

Tim Grimes, social media manager, Defected Records
I think the rise [of ad-free services] has been a welcome wake-up call for a lot of marketers to rethink how us brands use social networks to reach customers. We need to take a step back from the relentless quest for followers, clicks, and mentions, and instead think about why brands got involved in social media in the first place.

Commercial campaigns can damage the reputation of Vloggers

Tom Goodwin, CEO and founder, Tomorrow Group

Well, first of all, like so many modern uses of old fashioned techniques, we can’t really quantify in any real terms how valuable these tie ups are. Shares, likes, upvotes are not reported in company annual reports. Our collective gut feel is that like outreach programmes before and in other media, these are wonderful partnerships, but they do have to be done properly. It’s easy to damage the reputation of the Vlogger and the Viner by being too commercial, too quickly, it’s easy to waste time on things that affect remarkably few people.
At the end of the day we need to focus on the goal of a campaign and then select the right tool. Sometimes this is Vine or Vlogging, but not every time. We need to stop using things because they are new, but use them because they are right.

Partnerships between Vloggers and brands may dry up

James Whatley, social media director, Ogilvy & Mather Advertising, London
Last summer, after the Channel 4 Dispatches programme ran an expos√© on celebrities endorsing products on social media you couldn’t get a celebrity to tweet something for you for love nor money (trust me, I tried). Given the recent (and long overdue) clampdown on vloggers publishing videos without any kind of disclaimer, I would expect that that these might dry up very quickly. We’ll see.

Brands should use open data to improve the user experience

Uriel Alvarado, chief marketing and public relations officer, Saxo Capital Markets
I personally would like the social web to become more palatable. I believe that brands are there to create value for the users. If users are already sharing information openly, the better brands can understand and improve our experiences and needs based on this information, the more palatable advertising can become. That is a key role that programmatic marketing has to play to change user experiences from unwanted advertising to value adding relationships.

Experiment with interest based networks

Sam Haseltine, solution consultant, Adobe
Interest based networks are only going to become more important for brands (especially smaller ones). The way I see it, we all juggle multiple different personas across social. Same person, different hat. Brands, no matter how large or small, need to be in the environment and speak in the language of their customers...wherever that may be.

Watch out for scale

Tom Goodwin, CEO and founder, Tomorrow Group
I think one thing everyone needs to watch out for is scale. We tend to always consider social media to be free and therefore we don’t worry too much about the effort per engagement since the media is without cost. But the reality is that even on Facebook, hard work to make great content still doesn’t get shared much. So we need to be cautious about how much effort to pursue to track down ever smaller audiences.

Remember the importance of physical meetings

Uriel Alvarado, chief marketing and public relations officer, Saxo Capital Markets
It is important that brands do keep their doors open by hosting events and facilitating real face-to-face interaction. But the priority at the moment is to establish a digital relationship with their audience asap. As users get increasingly bombarded with content and apps overload, the window of possibility for brands to reach their audiences will be diminishing and become quite competitive. Brands need to start building strong lasting digital relationships now. The face-to-face aspect does accelerate loyalty. So my advice is for brand managers to both interact digitally and go out of the office and meet key influencers for coffee.

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