PM Forum - Bristol
Social Media - making it work in your firms marketing strategy
"Social Media is like teen sex. Everyone wants to do it. Nobody knows how. When it's finally done, there is surprise it's not better" Avinash Kuashik – Analytics Evangelist, Google.
This provocative analogy was presented to members in Bristol recently by Helen Hammond of Elephant Creative Solutions and Mike Fieldhouse of Reality House on the importance of incorporating a strategy for Social Media. Professional services firms are struggling to get to grips with using social media as a communication tool, many are not sure how or even if they should use it. Those that have dipped their toe in the water are rarely using it to its full potential and end up broadcasting rather than communicating with their audience.
Incorporating a social media strategy into the communications plan will help firms to get benefit from using their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Helen posed a number of questions which all firms should ask when they set out to design a social media strategy:
- Why are you using it?
- What do you want to achieve?
- How does it fit in with your wider online strategy?
- What content can you offer? Inspirational content, advice, information?
- What resources do you have available? Who will actively participate?
Reality House offer strategic advice to professional services clients on their ventures into social media. Mike recommended:
- Monitor what people are saying on your chosen sites. There are several good applications that can be used to set up alerts.
- Answer questions honestly and truthfully, people are very understanding when they feel that someone is listening.
- Don't be scared of negative comments about your firm or services, try and address them truthfully.
- Have enough resource to manage and plan – how much fee-earner time can be used to engage on social media?
- Have a clear idea of what you want to achieve and where you are going.
- Pick a project and start small. Something you are already working on i.e. a firm event.
- Identify your objective i.e. to increase the number of attendees.
- Do a SWOT – identify areas to consider.
- Revisit the objective to make sure it's realistic and SMART.
- Action SWOT – for each of your identified SWOT, assign an action.
- Have the infrastructure in place i.e. is your blog or twitter account already setup?
Social media will not replace traditional marketing techniques but should be seen as another way to get your message out to your audience. People usually find their own comfort zone when communicating and tend to choose the best way to suit their personality. Social media has now provided more choice to our channels of communication and should be integrated into your communications plan to add fuel to your marketing fire.