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Clammering to be social… is your brand ready to join the party?

Clients are more frequently seeking our Social Media Marketing expertise as C-Level management looks for new marketing opportunities to enhance their brands. Although we share the common goal of improving and enhancing clients' presence online, our assessment of the tactics necessary to meet that goal doesn't always include a social media component and, if it does, we try and set clear and comprehensive expectations of the commitment necessary to be deemed 'successful.' Social media isn't a short term strategy that fits within the 'normal' marketing expertise. Companies that look at social media as a simple extension of their marketing department often underestimate the time and resource commitment to engage with clients, prospects and other "influencers." Before a brand launches their social media efforts, here are a few of the questions they should be asking:
  1. Do I have the personnel to commit?
  2. Can I contribute something of value? Information? Experience? Entertainment? Insight?
  3. Will social media support or enhance my brand?
  4. Have I identified a brand personality, something that has relevance and longevity?
  5. Do I have the stomach for long term gains over short term expenditure?
  6. Are business goals and expectations clearly defined?
  7. Do I have buy in for transparency, honesty and empowerment for social media efforts?
  8. How will social media fit in the overall mix of my marketing?
  9. Do I have a social media marketing plan?
  10. Where are my customers, prospects, peers online?
  11. Do I (and my company as a whole) have the tools, tactics and training to understand how to engage and interact?
  12. Do I have a company policy that sets clear boundaries and expectations of employee engagement?
Although the early adopters have been socializing at the Facebook / Twitter / MySpace "bash" for a while, having a clear understanding and plan of what you're trying to do socially can build a successful online presence that will be an effective tool in your online and offline marketing mix. Who doesn't want to be the life of the party?