Monday 05 December 2016

Friday Five: Overcoming Social Media Obstacles

Why It Matters by Bill Mrazek

Recently, brands have flexed their real-time engagement and on-the-fly content development muscles, especially surrounding trending topics and highly-viewed television events. But in the down time between these catalysts, and more often than community managers would like to admit, brand social channels often get stuck in the proverbial customer service rut or all-too-familiar promotional content.

When brands stay in that rut rather than the growth of a persona, a voice and tailored content, it’s time for a change.

These five steps will help brands carve a path to sustained, authentic engagement.

1. Sightseeing Can Arouse Inspiration

Take a step back from content calendars and get a bird’s eye view of overall goals. How will you know if there are new opportunities if you don’t stop and look up every once in a while? After working at a granular level, it can help to discover what other industries, demographics, lifestyles and topics are most relatable to core goals.

2. Raise Vital Questions Problems

There are always challenges for any brand to overcome, especially due to the perpetual growth and mutation of social media.  Ask what the nagging problems are; why new problems have arisen; and why these are problems in the first place. Developing a content strategy can be thought of as an obstacle course, (or better yet, the Aggro Crag). Surveying the landscape, noting each hurdle and implementing a plan of action for each will help you get closer to that glowing piece of Aggro Crag – aka an all-star social presence.

3. Consider Different Perspectives

Reach out to anyone that is not connected to the brand directly to gain different perspectives. Have purpose-filled conversations and inquire about how other people think and feel towards your brand, the messaging, and the overall campaign. Get an outsider’s view of how they would approach any problems that come up. This will not only shed light on potential issues, but it could also present additional avenues you may not have considered before.

4. Test Tune

Before diving into an entirely new communications plan, it’s important to test the waters. Start by compiling the insights that the critical thinking process spells out. Prepare for possible reactions by researching how communities have responded to other brands or organizations that have previously ventured from the beaten path. Finally, test out various components of the new-found strategy – then based on the results, tailor the approach to your audience.

5. Integrate Apply

Fuse the tested and proven philosophies with each of the brand’s social embassies and programs that are already in place. Pay attention to each area of exposure (paid media, traditional, owned media, etc.) and implement the new content strategy. Integrating these channels will ensure a consistent brand voice and engaging narrative to the entire brand community.

As the saying goes: Rome wasn’t built in a day. And determining a brand’s content strategy is not done overnight. The research, planning, listening and testing is just as vital as the community that will engage with the brand.

What methods work for you when building a brand persona and content?

Image credit: Universal Pops

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