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How to improve business social profiles
As businesses look for ways to more deeply engage consumers the social space is offering one place where brands can do things a little differently. The problem? According to one expert too many businesses are treating the social space like another ad-space rather than using social to speak more directly with shoppers.
Kristina: Everyone, it seems, is 'on' social - but it's on a personal level. Is it important for businesses to have a more personal approach to their professional social statuses?
Mark Nardone, Executive Vice President, PAN Communications: YES!!! But it needs to be a blended and balanced approach. Businesses need to take advantage of having their own personality and voice that can communicate directly to their prospects, partners, employees and/or consumers. There's a huge opportunity for brands to interact and engage - with the goal of building long lasting brand ambassadors. This specific group is in their own league when it comes to benefits: they're able to create organic conversations, build deeper customer loyalty, become a huge WOM referral source and ultimately convey a company's expertise and knowledge. All the while enabling one-to-one connections and placing a face to a company's brand, among other things. You should be seeing more BtoB companies aggressively moving towards a "personality" brand strategy. They've had the luxury of seeing how effective BtoC companies have been with building brand ambassadors and will take a "best practices" approach for their own benefit in the near future.
Kristina: How are executives using social media, at this point, and do you expect their usage to change over the next couple of years?
Mark: Easy -- thought leadership and vision. However, I don't feel executives are heavily entrenched in social media today. Social media is ever-evolving, and I think so many executives are the last to jump on the wagon. But they are starting to dip their feet into the social media pool, as they see the ROI and benefits of different social tools. Once they warm up to it, and understand the impact it can create, they will trust the use begin to increase the volume of their voice. As a PR firm, we educate executives on the importance of having their own voice in order to become thought leaders and or "captains of their industry". Some are more comfortable than others. But we'll certainly see a transformation and an increase in social media usage coming from executives over the next several months.
Kristina: How can big businesses better utilize the social space for their brands?
Mark: It depends on how big. If you're a Nike or a Ford Motors, you need to treat the social space as an opportunity to target your different audiences and speak to them via different channels - we call this integrated communications. The beautiful thing about the social space is that it has no walls, it never ends. You can begin so many conversations, leveraging a number of different platforms with so much content -- while honing in on the exact audience you wish to reach. Big businesses usually have multiple audiences and demographics they want to target. With all the data to analyze, they can and should do a better job of targeting their audience within different demographics. It's an investment that's sure to pay off.
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