Behind every social media campaign or outreach effort for a brand, there is a “business end” or business objective that is the ultimate purpose for any campaign. At least there should be if you’re a brand and are doing things right.
There are a vast number of activities and approaches to developing a social media engagement or outreach and as a business or brand, one needs to be selective, pick and choose what you’re going to do and how you are going to achieve your end objectives with these approaches. This is usually “the mark” of a brand that is doing it right. A brand that is doing it wrong is either one that is simply not engaging in activity at all or one that’s doing everything and using everything available with no clear focus, strategy or objective.
Creating a social media engagement that is “social” and ensuring it meets your business objectives is a fine balancing act that may look easier than it is. As a fan of a number of Facebook brand pages, I want to stay connected with these brands, interact with them, get updates on what they’re up to but don’t want to hear direct sales pitches or feel like I’m receiving sales emails. Let’s take a look at a few random examples of brand pages on Facebook. By looking at a page can you identify what the business objective behind the social media activity is and more importantly – is it working to achieve that?
Brand: A leading retail mall in Pune /shopping destination.
What are they doing here? Sharing updates and promotions on what is happening at the mall.
Business objective: Connect with the customer base and get them to come back to the mall.
Does the approach and objective match? Yes!
Brand : Automotive / D Segment SUV
What are they doing here? Sharing photos and experiences of their customers who have purchased the XUV500 and proudly capturing special moments with their new car.
Business objective: Create a very strong brand sentiment of ownership pride, create fans for the product, tap into word of mouth which can result in a larger following and more bookings.
Does the approach and objective match? Yes!
Brand: Leading Indian web hosting and domain registration service provider.
What are they doing here? Sharing a humorous comic that the IT and technology community could find funny.
Business objective: Engage with technology and IT enthusiasts who are ultimately decision makers or key influencers in the decision to purchase hosting space, web hosting infrastructure and register internet domains.
Does the approach match the objectives: Yes!
Brand: Telecom / Mobile / Broadband and Internet Services.
What are they doing here? Pushing promotional scheme links from their website pages stating the name of the scheme and attaching a text only link.
Business objective: To engage with customers, increase brand loyalty leading to sales, build relationships and provide customer support.
Does the approach match the objective? No not in the least! There is no interaction or two way dialog with consumers and fans. It’s just a stream of text advertisements promoting products and pushing one way marketing messages without responding to what fans post or even listen to what they are saying.
Brand: Reputed Up-market Gold & Jewelry Stores.
What are they doing? Posting promotional offers with the message of convenient affordable payment options.
Business objective: To engage with fans that have a passion for gold and jewelry and position PNG as an aspirational / luxury brand that offers exclusive jewelry designs as a leading player in this space.
Does the approach match the objective? Not very well. Constant promotional offers and discounts are inconsistent with a luxury jewelry and gold brand. Other than promotional messages asking customers to come and buy, there is not much engagement or content to offer fans something of value, get them to see the brand as a leader in the jewelry space or add value to the brand via social media. It’s just more of a mailing list approach.
Having clear business objectives to a social media campaign and achieving them is paramount to any brand or organization. Doing that with activity which is consistent with social media interactions and not blatant advertising and marketing is an ongoing learning process. A great way to learn what approaches are working and what is not? – simply review what other brands are doing on social media, identify what their business objectives should be and whether it’s consistent with what they’re doing. What you learn, can help you improve your own campaigns and initiatives by leaps and bounds!