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BizReport : Social Marketing : September 02, 2013

Top tips to help integrate ads, social media

Social media may be where the customers are online, but the space is becoming an ever-trickier platform for many businesses. How many posts are too many? How can they create more meaningful conversations? And how can all that data be used? Our expert offers his advice.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What are your top three tips for integrating social media channels and strategy?

Rob Howard, Telligent Founder and Chief Technology Officer: Educate - Educate the entire team on social media best practices.
Empower - Empower people to respond in the community when they see something that is relevant to their interests.
Elicit - Elicit feedback from customers (the community) and act on that feedback.

Kristina: How can brands better support their social customers with tips/training?

Rob: The best thing that brands can do is acknowledge all customer interactions (negative and positive) and provide meaningful and helpful information. In particular, airlines do a really good job at this. People often complain on Twitter about flight delays and other problems they may have with an airline. Smart airlines acknowledge the issue at hand and then try to provide helpful recommendations. Sometimes people just want to know that someone is listening.

Kristina: Explain and highlight how the following best practices can support a businesses' social marketing efforts:

Rob: • Posting industry news, product updates and company announcements

• Engaging experts and customers to share best practices in the company's industry

• Gathering customer feedback, ratings and reviews on products and services

• Using customer discussions to collect ideas for research and development

In addition to re-posting industry news, our recommendation is to add commentary and perspective on industry news and how it affects the organization. Social shouldn't just be another echo chamber, but, instead, a tool to weave a broader story around an existing narrative. I personally believe that social allows for scaled personal interactions - interactions with experts, partners and an organization's employees. For example, social interactions in a community are more geared toward peer-to-peer knowledge sharing. These interactions are much different than the typical broad or traditional PR communication or 1:1 meetings and phone conversations. Overall, a good way to think about it is that social is an amplifier.

Also, companies are starting to reengineer their research process and engage customers in the innovation process. We all know that innovation is critical for a marketing department that's trying to stay on top of industry trends and the needs of its customers. And that is why companies are now moving innovation conversations to online communities and collaborating with customers to generate new product and service ideas. Many companies, such as Titleist, are demonstrating how you can move the innovation needle in the right way by using a social community for product research and opening the doors to behind-the-scenes product information.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: social marketing, social marketing tips, social media integration, social media tips, Telligent

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