The legend goes that if you drink from the Holy Grail, you will gain immortality. Translate that into the SME brand world, where organizations compete with each other to find their place in the mind of the consumer. What could be such a game-changer that would rise above the rest and become a brand that everyone remembers? Social Media.
What is it about social media that can become indispensible for SME organizations to build their brand constructively? First off, social media is where social interactions take place in the virtual world, specifically the internet through mobile and desktop platforms. Some social media sites include Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Quora, etc. SME’s using social media can avail of the following advantages.
- Directly connecting with your audience: Social Media is ALWAYS interactive. When you post something on social media, you will get responses to it directly from your target audience. You will be always connected with them.
- Reputation Building: Sustained presence on social media and relevant material posted online will improve your reputation both as a brand and as people in the know.
- Great Value for Money: If you have a limited budget, social media is for you. As opposed to any media, the pay per click concept is unique to social media. The investment that you put in social media is minimal and surgically targeted towards your audience. While traditional media is not easily quantifiable, social media content can be quantified accurately through efficient tools such as Google Analytics, Google Trends and several others. With this treasure trove of information, you can redesign your content to get better traffic into your content and make real-time conversions more regular.
THE SEARCH FOR THE HOLY GRAIL – SPADEWORK FOR YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
Indiana Jones didn’t just know where to find it. Finding your Social Media Holy Grail will require some spadework. Here are some pointers.
- Understand Demographics: Whether targeted towards male/female, their age group, they can probably a specific ethnicity, anything that will narrow down your target from the masses. Ideally, it should be ONE CHARACTER that exactly signifies your target audience. Let’s call him/her Alpha.
- Gather Topics of Interest: Now, Alpha will have specific topic of interest. It is in your interest to find out what are their likes and dislike. With this information you can choose your tone of communication and your overall strategy.
- Assimilate Response Behaviour: How do they respond with content that they like and things that they don’t like? Do they share with their friends? Ignore it? Go on and purchase? You can adapt your strategy according to these inputs.
- Use available resources: Google Analytics and Google Trends are great tools that will help you bottleneck your audience into a tight, concentrated group, who WANT your communication.
USING THE HOLY GRAIL – CONTENT PLANNING
You now have all the information that you need to communicate with your audience. How are you going to broadcast it to them? Being an SME, you don’t have the luxury of being indirect and all over you’re your communication. Your information has to be focused, clear and efficient. There are 3 critical points of making sure that happens.
- Empower: When your audience comes to you for information, it is of paramount importance that you provide them with what they want. Your content has to be reactive as well as pro-active. It has to be what they want and more! That is where you differentiate yourself.
- Engage: Reel them in now. With the information that you have gathered, you should be able to relate to them, entertain them and make them interested in your content. The first priority of your brand is to bring in possible conversions with relevant, engaging content. You can direct your communication to an exact number of people, in an exact area even inside one particular city, if need be.
- Sustain: Tell them through action that you are here to stay. You are the king of the content that they need and you will sustain your relevance by consistently coming up with quality content that builds and improves their interest. Only with sustained conversations will you develop a reputation and trust in the mind of the consumer. With the tools available to you, you can monitor, cultivate, and promote your brand in a direction that you see fit, instantly. Create a posting calendar. It will be your bible, of what, when and why you are going to communicate with your audience and follow it religiously.
Unlike larger organizations with dedicated budget allocations for advertising and communication, SME’s cannot invest without detailing the returns on their investment.
With tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Insight Panel, Linkedin Insight Panel and many others, you can track exactly what your audience has seen, liked and acted on.
With essential input, you can calculate exactly what your ROI is and adapt and course-correct your communication to connect better, engage better and to leverage yourself into a brand worth remembering.
In conclusion, Social Media is a superpower sent to you by the almighty creators of the internet. How you wield it, is up to you.
John Yohan John
Integrated Corporate Practice