5 Not-So-Easy Steps to Managing Your BrandOnline
Unless you literally run your business with your ears plugged and your eyes covered, you are aware of the importance of social media and its impact on bothbrand and bottom line. However, while social media is the topic du jour in mainstream news, on blogs, in books, at conferences and at your local Starbucks, wemay still underestimate its overall promise and potential.The socialization of business is comparable to the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland or the red pill in the Matrix. If ignorance is bliss, awareness is awakening.Where there’s insight, there’s opportunity – but with opportunity, there’s also a cost. In this case, that cost is financed through learning, change, adaptation andinnovation.Social media is deceptive. It appears easy, free and yours to own simply for the price of admission and engagement. If this post were to live up to an alternateheadline, say the “5 Easy Steps to Managing Your Brand Online,” the list might look a bit like this:
Monitor and listen to conversations related to your brand and competitors
Start a blog, create a Twitter profile, set up a Facebook brand page and broadcast a YouTube channel
Draft social media guidelines
Be transparent and authentic
Ask questions, introduce polls, curate interesting content and have funIt’s not that the list is untrue or menial. In fact it’s where many organizations begin their journey towards a new era of discovery, relevance, and earnedprominence. Keep in mind however, that as social media matures, consumers are becoming increasingly discerning. The simplicity of “Top 10”posts disguise the
significance of this incredible (r)evolution.
They are mastering their social domains and experiences and, as a result, their attention is not only thinning, it’s focusing on the relationships and informationthat’s most beneficial to their regiment.Rather than looking at the easy ways to use social media to manage our brand, let’s examine five next-level steps for managing and ultimately defining your brandonline.
Listen and learn – Listening, monitoring, and reporting are obligatory cogs in the social media machine. Gathering intelligence to inspire meaningful andactionable social programs is, on the other hand, priceless.Measuring share of voice and frequency of mentions is helpful in understanding what is happening in and around us. But if you expand your horizons to surfacethe share of all conversations related to your market and position within the broader landscape, you also discover missed opportunities and inflection points –along with areas for improvement, innovation and expansion.
React to and lead conversations – While many organizations monitor conversations related to keywords or respond simply to those who invite participation, theprospect of social media lies beyond first-degree dialog. This is a chance to leapfrog conversations by learning what it takes to lead them and then embodying theposition you wish to gain.Responding to relevant commentary is only the beginning. Introducing social objects that address needs or direct actions in the form of posts, videos, imagery andother commentary to demonstrate passion, expertise and leadership ensures a comprehensive rotation of inbound and outbound marketing, service andcommunication.
Divide and conquer – What becomes clear in those first points is that no one department owns social media. Depending on the industry, conversations usuallyalign with distinct facets of business including service, marketing, product/service, HR, finance, etc. This is the beginning of the socialization of business. Asrelevant conversations and the information present within them are scrutinized, it becomes clear that they feed and are fed by distinct information. Prioritize andassign inbound and outbound activity based on a conversational workflow that reflects the nature of organized and relevant long tail discussions.