Have you seen any ROI from your Social Media yet?

In recent years, numerous companies ranging from iconic brands to startups have used social networking platforms and channels to market their products. Social media allows brands to reach their consumers in a personal and direct way, monitor consumer engagement and stay relevant in an ever-changing marketplace.

gkbrand_socialmediaIt’s where people go to get honest opinions – whether it be for restaurants, concerts, movies, travel destinations – it is the number one place to find a plethora of reviews. A successful online marketing campaign will attract a significant amount of opinions and feedback. Feedback does not always have to be good – and often times, the most controversial sites will attract the most users. However, brands must remain in open communication with their users to maintain trust. If users feel that they are not being heard, brand loyalty is at risk.

In order to avoid getting lost in the great shuffle, brands are becoming more and more creative and more interactive in how they share information. Whether it is linking to Flickr and sharing images where users can comment, or posting videos that link to a branded YouTube page, users are expecting more access and opportunities for engagement.

gkbrand_socialmediaintegrationHere are some ways gkBRAND uses Social Media, in this case, Twitter, in business:

1. Establish an overall Social Media Strategy, and define the client’s objectives for using social media. Often, it’s for launching a new branding initiative, rejuvenating a brand, or for customer service, sales and marketing.

Define guidelines for Tweeting – here are some ideas:
• Ask questions
• Ask for feedback about clients and their brands
• Give news about our client or industry
• Use links together with suitable comment
• Decide on a company account or individual accounts

The question of what account type is an interesting one. A personal account is more human than a company account. The downside to this is that individuals can leave a company – many companies use a mix of both.

Also, there is no reason to limit your account to a single account – multiple accounts may make sense for some companies.

2. Set Up A Listening Post:

You can use Twilert to enter keywords that you wish to be alerted for. Twilert will send you an email listing who has used the keyword in their tweets.

Another tool Twitter Search can be used to do real time searches for keywords. Alternatively, an RSS feed can be set up on Twitter Search to manage the process.

Keywords could be your brand or specific products or services that people may have an interest in.

Tracking your brand name mentions is essential. Understanding what the Twitterati are saying about you is just as important as monitoring what the blogosphere is saying about you.

A listening post can also monitor any complaints about your product or service, and enable you to respond pro-actively to resolve the problem.

3. Follow Relevant Twitter Users

You can then identify the authors of tweets that you and start to follow them.

Be sure to maintain a balance of around 50% between the number of people you are following and the number of Twitterers following you.

If you try and grow your network too fast and have many more followers than followed, you could be accused of spamming.

4. Use a URL Shortening Tool.

140 characters need to be used carefully so you will need to use a URL shortening tool to conserve space for you comments.

We like bit.ly because it has good tracking features

5. Beware of Brand Hijackers

If you have unique brand be sure to set up a Twitter account in that name to protect your brand.

gkbrand_socialmediaglobe-299x300Social media is about fast communication and sharing thoughts/ideas that users can interact with, build upon and react to. It’s about having the freedom to say and express whatever you want whenever you want while reaching a potentially large audience.

What you decide to share with the online world can make or break the success of your online marketing goals. If users find your information interesting and engaging, they will pass it along to their friends and traffic will organically flow to your site. If users are not engaged, your efforts will get lost in the shuffle.

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