Presence in social media should be an integral part of a company’s overall marketing strategy. Social media can get overlooked but often it goes hand in hand with crisis management, particularly in a service-led business such as PR. Why is social media important in terms of brand communication? How can you use social media in order to enhance a company’s presence? Fuel investigates.
Why social media?
Using social is the most popular way of spending time on the Internet (it declares 67% of respondents[i]). Increasingly social media has replaced other forms of online engagement including electronic forms of communication (e.g. Chat) because people use social sites as a way to keep in touch, organise their life digitally and as a source of information about the world. Social media is also natural tool to organise and promote various events as well to interact with others.
Currently we distinguish very many types of social media channels. Here is a small summary on those which are the most popular:
Why should your brand/company be using social media?
In this era of social media, brand communication with the consumer is no longer limited to a partial transmission. Currently the internet is a pending dialogue with the client seller, and the nature of discussion is fuelled by how the brand is planning their communication strategy and how the user perceives the brand. So what can you achieve by signing up your business to social sites? The biggest advantage of the company’s presence on social channels is primarily the creation of a 24 h customer service. Moreover, platforms such as Facebook or Twitter provide you with the low-cost tools to advertise your product or services, and these channels can often be used for sales purposes.
How to get started?
The very first thing you should consider before you start planning your social marketing strategy is the current profile of your customer and your target audience. Another point is the reflection of which social channels are you going to use. Keep in mind that social media marketing is not only limited to Facebook (although Facebook is the most popular social site- reference[i]). Other niche portals every day are gaining in popularity, for e.g. Instagram and Snapchat. You may wish to consider where your customers and clients spend their time on the internet and why.
How to use social media channels in terms of brand communication?
Once you choose the social media that best meet your goals, you need to think of how to use it. An essential part of the whole process is to select or hire the person who will be responsible for managing your social presence. Contrary to popular belief, keeping social media channels up-to-date is about more than posting a status update. It’s about seeking and creating original content, monitoring the performance of regular permits and ensuring consistent management of all online communities. It takes time and therefore it is always a better idea to have someone dedicated to enchanting the social media presence of your brand/company.
How best can you lead a corporate social channel? Firstly remember that it isn’t all about self-promotion. People visiting social networking sites are there mainly because of free time and although promotions and incentives are important, they don’t always want to be told to spend money. The content that you are publishing should be both original and useful. Social networking portals are a great medium in which you can build a good image of your business. To do so you need to remember that communication is key as is customer service. Ensure that you actively respond to all comments, reviews or private messages- interaction is the buzzword. Moreover remember also to monitor the Internet, comment actively and keep up to date. Google Alerts or Mention.com will allow you to monitor the internet and capture articles where the name of your company/client appear. They provide a great engagement tool to interact.
To conclude building a corporate image on the Internet is a lengthy process, but is very satisfying at the same time. Proper use of social media will result not only in greater awareness of your brand, but also the loyalty of your customers. Moreover, listening to the “voice of the Internet” will help you to improve your product or services.
If you need a professional help or you have a question about how to run social media accounts for your business, contact Sandra Kaminska (Sandra@fuelrefuel.com) or Leandra Cardozo (Leandra@fuelrefuel.com) at Fuel PR.
 TNS insights (www.tnsglobal.com