Over the past few years, social media has become part of every marketer’s playbook. The ability to engage customers directly has helped improve the customer journey from a one-way, static discussion to a two-way dialogue. Yet many marketers still haven’t fully incorporated the social channel into their outbound marketing efforts. Forrester talks about one problem, called “Social Exceptionalism,” where marketers separate social media campaigns from other marketing campaigns, making their strategy seem a bit disjointed. Similarly, Gartner predicts that by 2015, 80% of social business efforts will not achieve the intended benefits due to inadequate leadership and an overemphasis on technology.
Problems such as poor coordination between campaigns and lack of leadership can be addressed by centralizing media assets in a Web content management system. In addition to making it easy for content creators to add information to the website, a CMS that separates content creation from content publishing allows you to reuse content across the entire website and adapt the same content for use in social media campaigns. This improves message consistency across all of your marketing efforts. It’s important to not take this capability for granted since customers can quickly tell if messages and materials, or even entire marketing campaigns, are inconsistent. Only by consolidating content in a central repository can you ensure consistency across all your marketing activities and optimize the customer experience.
Here are a few tips for attracting customers by using social media when designing marketing programs:
- Keep messages, tweets and updates brief
- Encourage use of video
- Especially for B2B, create content that will interest and engage your customers
- Respond to those people who comment in a timely manner
- Use analytics to evaluate what is working and what is not working