Public Relations Tactics

7 Ways to Make Social Media Work for Your Campaign

June 30, 2017

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[shutterstock]

Social media is a tool that everyone wants to use but few fully understand. When it comes to integrating your company’s marketing strategy with social media, just signing up for a Twitter account and then posting at will is not enough. You must know the limits of each social media channel, when it’s good for your brand and how it can capture value that sustains throughout the campaign.  

At PACO Collective, a cross-cultural agency in Chicago, we use social media to create special moments between our brands and the public. We are less interested in direct pitches than in cultivating relationships between our brands and consumers. Those connections only happen when social media is used with the appropriate voice and for the right occasion. 

Here are seven ways to make sure your brand is best represented in the digital space:

1. Prioritize. Some social media channels are perfect for your brands, while others are not.

Research user behavior on each channel and learn what users will and will not tolerate. Snapchat users may respond differently to certain messages than LinkedIn users will, for example. Your brand doesn’t need to be on every social media channel — only those where you know your customers live.

2. Integrate the offline experience. Through hashtags, streaming video and photos, social media can extend your live event before and after it happens, expanding your audience for product launches, grand openings and other premier brand opportunities, while also emphasizing key messages.

3. Be conscious of what you say and how you say it. Too often, brands incorrectly assume that all groups will interpret messages the same way. Take, for example, Nivea’s controversy with its “White is Purity” campaign, which some saw as insensitive to racial and ethnic minorities. Your messages may have different implications outside your target group.

4. Cultivate personal relationships. Social media lets you build 50/50 relationships with your customers. Give them content that makes them feel a part of your experience, like a sneak peek of coming products, a behind-the-scenes look at your business or an inside view of your day-to-day operations. Such content makes users feel like they’re part of the experience, and helps build trust.

5. Create brand ambassadors. If your customers feel like they’re part of what you’re doing, then they will talk about your brands to everyone in their circle. Social media can ignite that passion through influencer programs that reward loyalty. Create two-way conversations with bloggers and others who show interest in the brand. Their endorsements will build brand authenticity, which can be more powerful than a direct pitch.

6. Launch virtual events. Social media gives you the opportunity not only to expand on live events, but also to create virtual ones that bypass traditional channels. Chats with company principals, SlideShare presentations, webinars and other real-time activity can take place through live Twitter streams that help create buzz in the moment and long after the event is over.

7. Conduct market research. How better to test the waters of your brand than by using social media for immediate feedback? Start small by engaging influencers who are invested in seeing you succeed, and then broaden your scope by talking to the greater community. See how messages resonate in certain markets, or try different hashtags to gather customer feedback.        

Once again, these conversions will build authenticity, especially if your response is immediate and genuine. Consumers are growing tired of brands that dictate from the top down; social media gives you the opportunity to speak to them from the bottom up.

Ozzie Godinez

Ozzie Godinez is co-founder and CEO of PACO Collective, the fastest-growing cross-cultural marketing agency in the Midwest. Godinez has helped PACO grow from a two-person operation to a company with more than 50 diverse employees and gross revenues of almost $20 million. 
 

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