Succeeding in social media – 5 golden rules

by Peter Young on October 30, 2009 · 0 comments

Social Media is hot, very hot and has been for a while. Many organisations are engaged with it, via a variety of sources whether that be Twitter, Facebook, Bebo or merely blogger relations – both large and small organisations alike. There have been some great successes in that time – in particular the following examples spring to mind.

Compare the Meerkat
One of the best examples of a completely integrated campaign, encompassing offline, online and social media facets and one of the most successful campaigns of the last 12 months.

Evian Babies
Over 10 Million views is testament to the viral nature of this video for something as unexciting as water.

T-Mobile
As much as I personally hate this advert – I can’t deny what a good integrated campaign this was, well planned well implemented and well seeded online. Not only that but it combines mobile, offline and online together in one campaign – and a huge dose of social media

Will it Blend
One of my favourites – and a hugely successful one at that. Watch and enjoy

This has subsequently meant demand for social media specialists has increased significantly, however much like their search marketing counterparts – good social media experts are hard to come by  - although there are obviously some about (in particular the likes of Ciaran Norris and Paul Fabretti spring to mind) – however there are some jey things to bear in mind before embarking within the social media space

1) Just because you can doesn’t mean you should
For every meerkat, t-mobile dance or Evian Baby there is a 1000 other commercial campaigns that fell flat on their face. Examples such Zuzzid (the social network (owned by Norwich Union/Aviva) where people were encouraged to talk about insurance) highlight the potential obstacles advertisers face when engaging online.  Just because you can engage on Facebook – and company x has 100000 fans doesn’t mean that this is going to work for you

2) Research and understand your target audience

One can only communicate effectively if you understand your audience. Carefully monitor your brand territory, understand your customers and detractors – and above all understand where they converse. By doing so you stand a far better chance of your social media campaign working than merely jumping in feet first.

3) This is not a new chapter, its a whole new book

Digital has changed things. Tactics and rules of engagement has changed significantly and more importantly customer response has to. No longer do consumers merely take what is thrown at them, the modern consumer is free to choose – who, what and when he consumes.

This should always be central to your social media campaign, push too hard and you will fail. Effective communication is key to social media – and that is not a one way thing.

4) Understand this is an evolutionary process

There is no one who can claim to know everything about social media. Not only is it a new channel, it is one that is continually evolving. As such what is here today, may be gone tomorrow. Social media advertisers need to be fluid and be able to change with the times

5) Test, Learn and Refine

Very few people get it right most of the time, and nobody gets it right all of the time  but the best people take what they do and make sure they learn from it – whether that be good or bad.

Social media should be fun, it is a vibrant channel and one that should provide some fantastic campaigns over the coming years

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