By Janette Speyer, Web Success Team
The answer is yes, right? The buzz is that social marketing is here to stay and marketers have finally embraced it. In a Forbes Magazine article, contributor Jayson DeMers claims that “Investment in Social Media Will Become a Necessity, Not a Luxury“.
The lines are still blurred. Many brands are not quite sure or comfortable with the loss of control and the messages that are being sent to their consumers, let alone the possibility of negative reactions.
After many years of working on and watching brands make the most of their social marketing efforts, I have devised a questionnaire checklist that should help you determine if indeed you and your brand are ready to take the plunge.
- Are you open to social marketing? This seems like an obvious question, but it is not. Many get carried away with all the buzz and the viral traffic but aren’t quite sure of how that applies to their brand.
- Are you ready to lose control of your brand? You are spending enormous amount of time and money to develop your brand only to find that I am asking you to lose control and change your message?????? Not entirely, social media sometimes requires that your change your perception about your brand. I explain more of this in my article about how your audience sees your brand.
- Are you ready to approach a whole new target market? This one really upsets my clients. They have specific targeting guidelines after years of marketing. Facebook has a very powerful marketing tool that if used in combination with promoted posts you will discover “hidden markets” that you probably would have not seen. Case in point, one of my customers has a product that is specifically designed for people over 45. Via Facebook and Twitter we discovered that there was a younger demographic (age 25-35) that was also interested in this product and they were purchasing.
- What is your tolerance for negative feedback? Zero right? Mine too. A Social Marketing specialist should typically have a program to handle a crisis so that you are in control of your brand messaging. Many times when negative feedback affects us we should be able to respond rapidly and effectively and often times change an adverse social opinion to a positive one if it is caught early.
Conclusion: Social Communications are rapidly changing the way we think and the way we purchase. It is taking some time for brands to jump on the bandwagon and to synchronize their efforts to the online and offline space. There has been progress but we still have a long way to go.