In my second post on the subject of Brands monitoring and making best use of social networks I will focus on your target audiences, and in particular communities or niche markets that are already active in social media. As a company, brand or destination you might feel that you’re only just starting to dabble in social media, whereas your audience has already a much better understanding and might to take you seriously, but fret not! There is more to social media than just Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr!
What (and who!) do you want to target?
To begin with, let’s have a quick look at the following table:
This chart is really just meant as a guide, but it is one many of my clients have used over the past years. It focuses on the difference between the sharing / syndication strength of the network in relation to the importance (in terms of time and resources) to your brand / destination. The key point here is that there isn’t only Facebook, LinkedIn or twitter – there are a lot more networks out there your audiences might be interacting with.
This graph may look daunting at first, as you might assume you will have a lot of resource to throw at this, but just stand back and think about this… “Social media” is something we have all done in the past! Social media has been part of your marketing for years and years – you are engaging and inspiring people to use your brand or visit your destination and share their experience! As such, social media marketing isn’t only about being on the networks, it is about ensuring your online marketing strategy makes use of these networks to target your audiences by syndicating your message across as many networks (that are useful to your brand / destination / audience) as possible.
Making use of (and gaining momentum on) a social network
If you haven’t already established a presence on a particular network you want to target then don’t be too worried. It is difficult to build a relevant presence on a network and develop the necessary sense of authority and more importantly a good number of followers or readers on the big networks. It could certainly be that you have tried this already and found it difficult to compete or gain followers?
Whatever the reason, you need to be aware that there is a certain degree of work and time (and maybe money) involved to create a presence, share content and interact with your audience. Remember, only when you gain some sort of interest by sharing relevant content and by interacting with your followers in meaningful dialogue will you gain influence. And you will be surprised how many people online are already talking about your brand / destination and would be happy to help out and promote it!
Going forward, my next articles in this series are going to be talking about gathering followers, making use of collected data and how to respond to consumer / competitor feedback and comments. Stay tuned!