Taking advantage of the power of networks such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, LinkedIn and Pinterest, among others, we are witnessing how brands approach web 2.0. Current and potential customers.
The move from “fan” to “liker” probably has been an excellent idea of Facebook so that the fact of being “ fan ” of a brand did not sound so exaggerated. It seems that it is easier to click on “Like”, as is the “Follow” of Twitter. That’s how we see it – or relatively easily through the execution of actions recruiting of likers (followers) – brands are able to get more and more followers. Good for them.
Even in this scenario and with “likers” who are very enthusiastic about responding to a slogan such as “how is the weather in your city?”, I allow myself to throw a skepticism about the phenomenon and ask: Do they know the marks How to tap into the potential value of your social media actions ?
Responding to the above, and before issuing any judgment, I then share ten keys that brands should consider when establishing their links in social networks.
As a guiding concept, a fundamental aspect to be careful not to show gaps between what the brand is in “reality” and what it pretends to be in social networks is to be coherent and consistent.
A new channel of contact with customers and other publics requires the brand to create spaces and develop actions that are in line with the business strategy and daily behavior. Any attempt that does not follow this path will end up confusing about what the brand is and has to offer, with the consequent detriment in terms of positioning, identity, brand value and / or business results.
Clarity of objectives
Responding to the simple and at the same time complex question: Why be on social networks? What does the brand intend to achieve? What should be done there?
It could become very negative for a brand to be on social networks, simply because “everyone” is going there.
If the only idea we have is “we get 1,000 likers or followers to offer our products”, surely we will have to work hard in order to identify what the brand has to offer in social networks (and what networks Have to offer the brand).
Commitment and continuity
Except in the case of real fanaticism or “follow-all-the-world” users , the liker usually does not give his “Like” for the mere fact of linking to a certain page, but expects to receive something In exchange: information, benefits, seasonal advances, breaking news, etc., and with relative frequency. The same concept applies to followers.
The brand or company that sponsors the page must be committed to generating value for its likers through what it offers in the same and with the appropriate frequency. It is not going to be something that those brands that have managed to gain confidence and adepts, end up pushing them to click on “I do not like” or “Stop following”.
Connection and closeness
It is certainly invaluable the possibility of having as close a link with customers and prospects as the one offered by social networks.
It should be clearly understood that once the space in a social network is opened the liker or follower is invited to talk and connect with our brand. This user will want to know, to know us better, to solve queries, that is: to get answers.
Bilaterality in its pure state.
Censorship zero (or almost)
On more than one occasion a student has told me that, after channeling a complaint or claim through the wall of such or that mark, his comment has been removed (and without this included offensive content). Here is one of the big mistakes you make. The brand has to be prepared to receive what its users have to tell you, the good and the bad.
Brands must understand that the space generated in a social network is a continuous test of how well they are delivering on their promises. And far from being “offended” when a user expresses his disagreement, they should thank him and make sure that comments like this do not happen again.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the trademark should always retain the right to eliminate offensive comments or inappropriate content provided by users and that could affect the sensitivity of the community.
In short, a brand that is exposed to the 2.0 talks sow the seeds of their self-demand. Congratulations.
Knowledge and learning
Again, having a group of likers or followers able to tell you what they like and dislike about a brand’s offer, or wanting to get suggestions about how they would like to be satisfied, is firsthand information that, Well interpreted, contributes to fuel the company’s marketing intelligence system, allowing it to attend to that knowledge, learn from it and transform it into a competitive advantage.
Listen, interpret, sift, process and capitalize. That’s what it’s all about.
Let us travel in this paragraph to the physical world. Advertisements very funny, but then you do not remember if it’s about this beer or the other … Promotion of a bank with discounts on Thursday; On another, on Tuesdays; Of another, on Fridays and on another, on Wednesdays … Marathon of the consultant here, of the vitamins there, of a sports brand (after the other) and also of the perfume (yes, marathon of a perfume! – asks: what does a marathonist smell? -) … Should not the idea be to capture the attention through a differential proposal and that contributes to the identification of the brand?
Without a need to “reinvent the wheel” (because it would not make sense, certainly), a call for attention is required to encourage brands (and their collaborators) to think differently, not to copy because it is easier to construct proposals that – Attractive, but also generate value. Value for the user, value for the community, value for the brand.
Probably one of the most key keys. What content to offer followers to perceive the value of being? How to motivate users to attend to the activity of the brand in the networks and get involved by participating? It is no simple task.
Segmentation and relevance, two fundamental concepts that, well understood, will contribute to the management of the contents to circulate in social networks. Inescapably, it will be necessary to have a clear idea of the brand’s public (which, at best, should be the same public as the network collects), know as much as possible and build for them and offer them what They are looking for.
And if there is nothing interesting to say, a brief silence is probably best.
In Spanish, Community Management, logically refers to the management of everything involved with that community of followers that the brand knew how to build.
Just as the business is not managed alone, nor the space of the company in social networks. Having the Community Manager function (which can fall on one person or several, depending on the case) will be very important to ensure that someone is taking care of everything that happens and has to happen, without leaving the issue At random or to the good judgment of the followers. A function through which the brand is expressed and linked.
At the same time, it is important to carry out follow-up actions on the performance of the space: number of followers, ups and downs, topics that attract more or less interest, results of specific actions, etc.
And as it could not be otherwise, not only the point is that competition will also be present in social networks through their own spaces, but, very easily, can be part of ours as a sneaky spy.
How to solve this situation? In principle, with good will and assuming that the competition will not incur in unfair practices for the simple fact of harming another brand. Posture somewhat innocent, it is true, but the other alternative is to give free passage to paranoia and assume that any comment not quite positive is a destabilizing attempt triggered by a competitor.
The formula? Does not exist. It only remains to develop competitive intelligence, take advantage of the dialogue to meet the target audience, identify their needs, desires and interests, build value and offer it better and before that another could do so in the gondola and social media . Not easy, but someone has to.