Social Media Strategy

Social media has emerged as the most attention-grabbing communication medium for consumers and the hottest topic in media and marketing channels today. Powered by user-generated content and increasing consumer distrust of advertising and corporate messaging, social media technologies create new channels for consumers to connect with one another.

People have an inherent desire to develop communities around common interests, geographic proximity, and countless other factors. Community networks are growing through the use of social networks, blogs, wikis and photo/video sharing, changing the way people communicate.

Among all age groups, users are increasingly visiting social media sites - sites that promote networks of relationships around users and content - from entertainment, news and politics, to business networking, consumer product reviews, connecting with friends, dating, and more.

Savvy marketers are turning to social media to build brand equity and reach consumers in a trusted environment. However, in order to derive business value from social media initiatives, companies must develop and implement a social media strategy that considers business and technical goals aligned with a deep understanding of target audience preferences and expectations.

Best Practices in Developing a Social Media Strategy

According to Forrester Research, "To thrive in an era of Social Computing, companies must abandon top-down management and communication tactics, weave communities into their products and services, use employees and partners as marketers, and become part of a living fabric of brand loyalists." At a high level, this approach is spot-on. A pivotal component of any social media strategy is an outside-in perspective, driven by a deep understanding of customer preferences and expectations. However, companies must also infuse their social media strategies with institutional knowledge.

Bringing Social Media to the Enterprise

For the enterprise, the growth in social media technologies can prove a challenging undertaking with potential impacts as diverse as brand and reputation risk, privacy and confidentiality issues and technology limitations. So how can organizations align staff and resources to address this challenge, while ensuring a balanced view of the risks, benefits and opportunities these technologies represent?

As with any business initiative, mitigating risk associated with your social media strategy starts with knowledge. For example, if your organization ranks brand and reputation risk as a top priority, a key component of your social media strategy should be to measure the perceptions of your brand with key target audiences. Through syndicated research, focus groups and other brand measurement tools, you can create a benchmark of brand perceptions pre-implementation. Then, instead of placing your social media program on auto-pilot, closely monitor brand perceptions to identify deviations or significant changes - whether positive or negative.

Social media is making a tremendous impact on media and advertising, marketing and sales, and a wide range of business processes and functions. The opportunities to jump in and get started are virtually limitless. However, in many cases, without the proper foundation, proving the ROI of your social media programs is virtually impossible. It's important to take a comprehensive approach to your social media strategy that:

  • Prioritizes business goals
  • Maintains a consistent focus on target audience needs
  • Weighs the risks and benefits
  • Monitors the landscape for social and technology developments that will impact your initiative

Our social media strategy consultants can provide:

  • An in-depth understanding of your target audiences' social media behaviors. Know who your users are and how you can align your social media approach with their expectations.
  • A review and recommendation of social media tools that are most effective at reaching your audiences today.
  • An analysis of your business goals aligned with the optimal application of social media solutions in your business or organization.
  • An assessment of your current technology infrastructure and recommended solutions and implementation requirements when integrating social media into your current workflow and Web content management (WCM) processes.

For additional information on Cerulyan's Social Media Strategy services, contact us today and we will be happy to discuss your requirements.