As we’ve talked about, social media is a way of life for consumers. More people than ever are turning to other consumers for real life experiences with products rather than looking to traditional media to sell them on products. As a company, getting active and involved in social media communities is increasingly important. When developing your social media strategies, managing and maintaining your social media communities is just as, if not more, important as developing them in the first place.
6 tips and tricks to keeping the ‘buzz’ around your brand positive:
- Have certain people within your organization assigned to a specific role involving managing your social media.
- Keep involved and actively ‘listen’ to what consumers are saying about you product across multiple platforms.
- Find out where and what the majority of consumers are saying, or what questions potential consumers are asking.
- Maintain your company’s voice within these arenas – respond to feedback, answer questions, and implement ways in which vocal users can be led back to other areas of your social media communities.
- Make sure the people assigned to managing you social communities integrate themselves within the community, not just directly market to them. In order to gain users trust, the process of creating a positive brand appearance within online communities has to be done much more delicately than most companies are used to doing through traditional media.
- Keep your communities active and engaged. Active participants are likely to keep returning, and interest other users. Active participants are invaluable to your strategy – they are what fuels and drives your online communities and therefore, your over all brand awareness. Many companies do this through contests and other incentives
- Check out Dell and their promotions via twitter!
Jeremiah Owyang puts it well in one of his latest research projects “New Rules of Relationship Management” , the first steps in getting started are about the 5 M’s –
- Monitoring – Listen before talking
- Mapping – Defend the brand – realize whose talking, what being said, and who has the ‘power’ to influence.
- Management - optimize in flight – pay attention to the changes and new developments within social media making real time course corrections for your companies path to your goals
- Middleware – What happens in person goes social – connect live events to your social communities and follow up on what goes on afterward.
- Measurement – benchmark what has been done so you can learn how to improve it.
Once you have your strategy in place, and an online social media presence, he then suggests following these basic ideas to continue to generate a well managed social media community. I have picked out the most relevant ideas relating directly to the company consumer relationship online. These are the ways in which a company can move from being reactive to online activities to being proactive.
- Find your prospects and customers watering holes
- Catching a lead in mid air
- Use peer 2 peer lead generation
- Realize where there is social smoke there is social fire
- Learn real-time isn’t fast enough
- Harness your advocates
- Catch innovation trends right under your nose
- get real-time innovation and feedback
- Reward your customers of lose them