In a previous post I briefly ran through a list of 12 Social Media Trends Australian Companies Should Look Out For This Year
In this (and over the next three posts) I extrapolate on my thoughts pertaining to said list of trends.
BETTER USE (AND INTEGRATION) OF SOCIAL MEDIA
There are indications larger organisations are starting to take social media more seriously and thus, are approaching their online communications with a greater degree of strategic forethought.
This, of course, is at odds with ‘the early days’ when companies simply jumped on to the main social networking platforms “because everyone is doing it”. This prevalent phase of ‘dipping the toe in the water’ doesn’t really cut it today. By going straight to the tools, you run the risk of becoming tactical straight away and chances are your efforts will go unrewarded.
A more strategic approach will also ensure social media is more effectively integrated into an organisation’s broader communication mix. Leaving it as a stand-alone ‘add-on’ will make even less sense as more and more best practice case studies come to light.
ADOPTION OF QUICKER RESPONSE TIMES
“Gone are the days when you could plan out your marketing and public relations programs well in advance and release them on your timetable. It’s a real-time world now, and if you’re not engaged, then you’re on your way to marketplace irrelevance.” SOURCE: David Meerman Scott’s free e-book REAL-TIME (How Marketing PR at Speed Drives Measurable Success).
We live in a real-time world in which the tone of voice and response time of brands to consumer issues or grievances is paramount.
This has numerous implications: left to fester and there is always the potential for even a seemingly innocuous situation to burst through to the front of the social media pack (and from there, to newspapers, radio and TV).
On the one hand, there’s the aspect of customer service. That’s probably the more black-and-white type of situation to sort out: monitor, identify and respond with haste in the appropriate manner.
However, in the world of PR and reputation management we’re often not dealing with a straight-out customer whinge but an undercurrent of discontent that has the potential to flare up at any stage. The warning signs will be there but not always obvious.
Hence the need for companies to not only be ever-vigilant but also ready (and willing) to act quickly.
The pressure on companies to ‘respond in real-time’ will only increase in 2012, thus companies need to dedicate effort and resources to listening and being proactive online (as well as offline!).
Next post will include:
LEADERS WILL ADOPT PRINCIPLES OF SOCIAL BUSINESS
INCREASED EMPHASIS ON CONTENT MARKETING