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Guest Column: Social media success – 5 guiding principles

07-January-2013
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Guest Column: Social media success – 5 guiding principles

The return on investment conundrum continues to trouble many brands with their social media initiatives. Here are five key guiding principles that you should apply to help drive your social initiatives…

Use social media to increase your outreach
Pick a few channels and stay focused to drive ‘growth’ metrics. Your brand is looking for an increase in followers and an increase in awareness. Come up with a baseline for your metrics and measure that metric month over month.

Use social media to let your consumer know more about your organisation
If the consumer is in the market for a particular product or service, you want to make sure that they are aware of what your organisation has to offer. Use every interaction with the consumer to ‘inform’ them about your brand and to ‘learn’ more about the consumer.

Use social media to get testimonials
Solicit feedback from your customers and members about their interactions with your brand. Ask the questions tactfully by making them specific to your brand offerings. Organise this data effectively so a prospect can find the information on your site and through search engines. Keep thinking of ways to engage your consumers in a dialogue – answer their question, solicit their opinion and make it easy for them to share.

Use social media to cut costs
There are many things you can do to begin cutting costs from your traditional marketing channels through judicious application of social media. Think about reducing paper newsletters and non-targeted advertising. Look for ways to strengthen a paper catalogue that has been sent to the consumer.

Use social media to drive revenue
An article on your blog might get the consumers to click through and make a product purchase. A few targeted tweets can drive people back to your brand. Soliciting feedback on Facebook can drive your customers’ friends to come to your brand. Look for specific ways to measure the revenue impact of your social efforts.

You have to save money and drive revenue to continue any marketing programme. Social media is no exception.

The author is Digital Evangelist, NCR Corporation

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