The key aim of this article is highlight how empowering your staff as social media advocates can increase the interaction and dialogue between an organisation and it’s customers, improving the rate of engagement between the two parties.
When considering a strategy, a company must be aware of the basic fundamentals which lead to successful marketing. All marketing strategies should incorporate factors from the STOP acronym, this stands for; segmentation, targeting, objectives and positioning.
When focusing on segmentation and targeting, the online audience must be considered.
There are several different methods which can be used to break the audience into segments is one area which must be looked at; for example by separating the audience into activators and non-activators, it becomes clear which segment of the audience must be targeted. There are other methods which can be used to aid segmentation and each method will be beneficial to a different type of companies and a different approach.
Objectives should be held in consideration at all stages of planning as these are what signpost the company towards its future goals.
Positioning is a vital part of strategy planning, how a company is positioned directs how consumers will perceive the company at a later date.
It must be considered that all marketing campaigns, even those by an online company must include an offline element. A digital campaign will only reach digitally able customers, balance between the offline and online platforms is vital to provoke full participation within a community.
In addition to the aforementioned strategies, companies should take advantage of their internal powerhouse and work to empower their employees as social media advocates. By playing down commerciality and focusing on the social side, the company can build brand authenticity. (Financial services forum, 2013)
By using employees to promote online, the company is taking advantage of several factors.
- Employees are already active online.
- Many are already talking about the brand on a personal level.
- The consumer can empathise with employees since they are seen as a fellow consumer.
- Most importantly, they are already engaged with the company.
- Employees have 10x more followers vs. corporate accounts.(socialmediatoday.com, 2013)
- Plus only 2% of the employee’s audience overlaps with the audience of the corporate accounts. (socialmediatoday.com, 2013)
- Employees share 29% more URLs about the company vs. corporate accounts(socialmediatoday.com, 2013)
- Employees URL reach is 2x vs. corporate accounts (socialmediatoday.com, 2013)
As companies begin to embrace the step change from corporate mass communication to an era of consumer mass communication, they should take advantage of using employees as both brand ambassador whom which the common consumer can relate to and trust.