2014 was an interesting year for us as a social media agency.
It was the year that when pitching for new business, the dominant question ‘Justify to me why we should be doing social and just how much return on investment I am going to get from social media activity’ – was surpassed by ‘We know we need to be getting involved with social, and we want to get it right, can you help us with that?’
It was the year we saw a wider range of size of business and business sectors looking to get started with social media – from startups through to global and extremely niche business to business ones.
Have we reached the social media tipping point? I’d still say, not quite – as there is still an awful lot of skepticism out there – and the appetite for becoming a ‘fully fledged social business’ is still really very small.
But… attitudes are changing – just as they did with email and ecommerce.
What’s interesting is that the objectives for what people want to achieve out of their social media activity varies – of course, in business most people are keen on bottom line results, however, they realise that’s not the sole purpose of social – and that there’s more to it – such as:
- Targeting The Right Influencers
- Building Relationships
- Building Brand Awareness
- Customer Service
- Customer Advocacy
- Being Part Of An Multi-channel Marketing Approach
So I thought in this post, it would be useful to share just a few of the ways we are working with our clients – to showcase that ‘being social’ is certainly not a one trick pony – and to provide you with practical knowledge of some of the tactics employed:
About: Large global corporation – EMEA division – Security Sector.
Objective: Looking at developing influencer relationships in a particular product range to build relationships, broaden awareness and build brand advocacy – and ultimately referral.
Why: The organisation had seen significant and successful lead referral from a couple of key influencers in their sector. They were looking to capitalise on this activity by finding more relevant influencers, building relationships by providing engaging, relevant and purposeful content.
By researching their sector we were able to find the relevant influencers on social, track relevant conversations, share useful and purposeful content with them and start to build relationships with them – assisting in broadening ‘advocacy’ – as a means of more higher engaged referral.
LinkedIn and Twitter were dominant platforms used for specific targeting and given the niche nature of the sector.
About: New Product Line – Lifestyle (B2C).
Objective: Established organisation created a highly differentiated product line – new brand, new website, zero awareness. Objective to build awareness and drive visibility, social PR, online traffic and ultimately sales.
Why: The client created a new business to support a new product line for a completely different market. It therefore, wasn’t feasible to draw upon the current brand – as strength came from the differentiation. Therefore, the objective of social was to support the launch of a new brand / product into the market – growing awareness, tracking conversations and connecting with relevant people, influencers, tradepress, journalists – and generally building a brand story and sharing relevant, purposeful and appetising content.
Main channels used: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, G+
About: Established brand in highly niche sector.
Objective: Getting closer to customers and building advocacy.
Why: Being a business to business supplier only, with a large field sales team – the brand / business had no real access to end users (in fact on their website they purposely made it very difficult to contact them directly because they have very limited internal customer support team – as this is managed via the field sales or their retailers). However, they were aware that customers wanted to talk to them directly – and so ‘social’ seemed a sensible route. The ability to track conversations and brand mentions, the ability to respond directly to the customer, the ability to build in their retailers into the conversations too – to assist in driving sales.
Main channels used: Facebook, Twitter
About: Global Manufacturer
Objective: Environmental Awareness Campaign
Why: The client was keen to use social media channels to connect with the general public, relevant influencers, clients and partners, politicians and policy makers, both in the UK and overseas – to build awareness of a sector specific, environmental campaign which is becoming very much aligned to their brand.
Given the audience, social channels offer attractive reach – and clear opportunity to connect with key influencers and share relevant and purposeful content to educate and build awareness.
Main channels used: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.
There you have it – 4 completely different reasons as to how businesses are using social media. Social media activity is just one of the many content and marketing touch points to grow engagement from your audiences. If you need any help with your social media activity, blogging, creating content or any other digital marketing services – then do get in touch with us!
This blog post was brought to you by Michelle Carvill, founder of Carvill Creative, the online visibility experts and author of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for all Businesses.