FEBRUARY 27, 2015

Social media is big and omnipresent, it is a big ecosystem of physically separate yet connected individuals around the globe, their collective association and participation makes it a platform which no company can ignore if it has to connect effectively to their customers. The sheer number of people in this virtual space itself speaks for the hidden potential that this medium has to offer, think about these stats for a moment; there are 1.39 billion active monthly users for Facebook which means that if Facebook was a nation it would be the third largest country in the world. So does twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest and blogs boast of their own specialized shade of social media. There are people that are engaged in these social media sites, there are active discussions, searches, enquiries, shares, tweets, posts all giving the marketer an effective platform for active involvement of customers.
The tools are present but there are also few tricks and tips that can make the posts, videos, audios, blogs and tweets more effective.As a first step let me put up a disclaimer that shouts “neither your brand nor the customer experience starts with social media” social media should ideally leverage your existing brand, solidify and bolster it. The social media efforts should be an extension of what you do in the organization.
Second choose the type of Social media you want to be active on, you can’t be active and efficient on most platforms on a consistent basis, thus it is highly recommended that your relationship with the customers should be fostered through the right choice of social media. Questions like where are the chunk of my users? What time do I have? What skills can I leverage, is it engaging audio, video or written content? These can set you up in building good relations.
Next, try and fill up your profiles completely, starting from the necessary fields that the social media asks you about and while you are at it, make sure that you tailor the keywords for your audience, be personal, update regularly and form a personality for your brand. If you are present in multiple platforms make sure that they all lend the same perspective through different medium.Social media is not a one way media, in fact the genesis of social media has got a lot to do with the interactive way of Web 2.0.Building relationships goes a long way to foster this one to many or many to many platform. With strong relationships come strong advocates and influencers, these breed of people gives more credibility. Similarly it is highly imperative that you follow these people in return as well, why? This is because they have valuable insights that can go a long way to understand the pulse of your customers and simply because they would be more relevant.
Finding the right frequency and the timing of posting is decisive for devising a posting strategy. Different content, correct frequency and timing needs to be tailored for the contents to make it more interesting, keep them interested with the right content at the right time and you can gain great customer engagement.
These steps can go a long way to implement strategies to devise your social media marketing plans, but always bear in mind this is much an art as it is a science, be creative, let these be guidelines for a creative process that is both effervescent and effective. Delight customers and keep them engaged in the right way for the right period of time.

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