A lot of people would like to implement a social media strategy in their company or agency, but aren't exactly sure where to begin. It is important to take your time, because any error made on social media can have enormous repercussions. In light of all this, we have a suggestion for how your company can take its first steps towards support for management as a whole.
Step 1: Start monitoring your brand
The first and easier step is the creation of a simple instance of monitoring to find out what's being said about you, your brand, and products on social media. One important detail at this stage is the definition of which keywords you're going to search for and on what social media. This strategy can get you vital information on what the status of your brand is on the web. You can then think about what action to take for operating on social media. On Scup, you can do this by registering a new instance of monitoring and entering the keywords.
Note: At this stage, many companies find that their brands are not being talked about on social media, and this is where they stop, which is a big mistake. There is a great opportunity here to begin and to explore the potential efficient media communication without having to deal with past events.
Step 2: Set up your team
It's very important that you define who on your team will be in charge of social media. This work is usually assigned to marketing and communications professionals who have a deep understanding of their trade, are available to speak for the company, who are users of the leading social networks and who are always connected (quick responses make a big difference to users).
This role is often take on initially by company directors and partners. On Scup, once the team has been decided, just invite them by going to the menu, Settings > Collaborator and they will thus have shared access to project.
Step 3: Find out what's going on
Understanding the type of comments being made about your brand or products is essential. You can classify the interactions monitored on social media as positive, negative or neutral, and then generate the numerical data of these classifications.
That way, you'll get a general idea of what your company's image is in the media. It's also important that these classifications be obtained periodically (daily, monthly or yearly) in order to get a sense of how these numbers are progressing. On Scup, you can do all of this by classifying each of the mentions monitored on the Mentions tab, and after that, you can follow the graphs and numerical data under the Reports tab.
Step 4: Establish what your line of communication is.
You have to be careful selecting a strategy for interaction on social media.
So, the best tip is to go by a standard. Establish a language (formal or informal) which is always to be used, the target audience, the ideal approach (implementing communication which is more personal or institutional), the frequency of your posts (on the corporate blog, on Twitter, slideshare, or any other social media) and a maximum amount of time to reply to user interactions. The line of communication also decides the action that will be taken in the event of crises and the approach taken when faced with criticism. In both cases, transparency is essential.
Step 5: Create your social channels
Many companies take this step long before they should. The basic concept here is "to be where your customers are". If users spend most of their time visiting social channels, it's essential to be present in these channels.
It's important to note that channels should be created under one assumption: you're actually going to be there everyday, giving updates and mingling. Social channels that are ultimately disregarded are not well-regarded by users, or unanswered interactions for that matter.
Step 6: Mingle. Interact!
The most important thing when putting your brand on social media is to interact with the user. It is essential for users to feel they are being heard and that they know how important their opinion is to you.
All types of relevant user interaction must be answered as quickly as possible. Pay special attention to your more active users: the missionaries and the destroyers of your brand. With Scup, you can monitor and instantly reply to user interactions on Twitter without leaving the page. You can also store and monitor a history of conversations with them and make a list of the most active users.
Step 7: Produce Content
At this stage, you already have a team, a line of communication, social channels, and are already mingling with users. Generating content is an important step to forging a closer relationship with these people, generating value, keeping everyone up to date, and showing that the company is alive, dynamic, and with the times. Many companies already generate a lot of content, but restrict this to institutional websites, newsletters, or specific campaigns.
Spreading jobs (replicating the content on your social channels) are really important, again, to be where the users are. Waiting for users to visit the site won't do. For this step, it's very important to follow the definitions of the implemented line of communication. Sometimes it's necessary to go back and do this part again.
Step 8: Keep an eye on the market and competitors
It's always good to take note of how your competitors' images are on social media. Listening their actions becomes a very important benchmark and market analysis. On Scup, it's easy to view the development of your brand and that of the competition with the Monitoring Comparison tab, although a more qualitative analysis ought to be done as well.