Social Business for marketing
It was not that long ago marketing professionals started hearing the term Web 2.0 technologies. These applications enabled users to interact, share, and collaborate with information on the Web, laying the bedrock for what has rapidly transformed into Social Media.
Marketers had to take notice of this growing phenomena as it soon became apparent that social media could unleash a nasty backlash. Today, however, there is a greater appreciation of the exciting opportunities this emerging channel has to offer.
The early approach to social media was to monitor everything to try and uncover all that was being said about brands, products and services and who was saying it. In hindsight this was slightly naïve; we know now that social media lives in real time growing exponentially resulting in a signal to noise ratio that can be a huge challenge to make sense of. There was an almost immediate realisation that to get precise data required considerable resource and manual interpretation.
Processes and objectives have changed, using next generation Social Business Software (SBS) marketers are now able to align technology closer to their social media strategies.
What marketers are insisting on is the ability to:
- automatically uncover emerging market trends and intelligence
- selectively listen to areas of the web important to them
- undertake conversation analysis and apply this across the entire advertising process
- bring outside conversations internally and be able to assess if these are new or existing touch points for their organisation
- have internal and external collaboration around campaign planning
- be able to identify and engage external key influencers
- be immediately alerted to consumer buzz and sentiment and refine campaigns accordingly as they progress
Focusing the Campaign Spend
As in other marketing channels, marketers won't allocate budgets if they know that the target audience is not the demographic they are trying reach. The same applies in social media. Not all areas of social media have potential customers or are important to a campaign. Marketers have identified that focussing on certain areas of social media is a more accurate and economical approach.
Unlike traditional marketing channels, demographics of social networks cannot be defined by user profiles as profiles – deliberately or not – lack the required detail. Profiling areas of social networks is done by carefully listening and understanding the overall meaning of the conversations that are taking place. Given the volume of content being generated in real time, automation is the only choice for this process.
Using Social Business Software, such as the Jiglu Social Business Software Suite, to discover conversational profiles provides two immediate benefits at minimal cost in time and resource.
- Social conversations are automatically digested with the solution providing a categorised level of understanding. This interpretation is enough to determine which areas of social networks are important and should be engaged and which are not.
- Market trends within communities will routinely surface providing a deeper understanding of how they should be targeted or provide further marketing or business opportunities.
Defined listening areas are also used for gathering market intelligence. A competitor's website, blog, or wikis for example can be monitored or an understanding can be gained by following their successful or failed activities in the social space.
By having a clear listening objective marketers can cost effectively and continuously have a finger on the pulse.
Collaborative Marketing Environments
Critical to a social media strategy is to apply social intelligence such as conversation analysis across the entire advertising process. Here too, SBS can play an important role. External conversations, for example, can be brought into an internal collaboration environment for team analysis and triggers and touch points can then be tested using a wider audience within the organisation itself before going live with a new or refined campaign.
Utilising collaborative environments within SBS is an effective and efficient approach to campaign building. Copy and media assets can be created, discussed and shared across wide geographical areas, departments or even with external stakeholders. Importantly, the collective knowledge generated by the build is retained. These information assets can bring other members of the organisation, such as sales, up to speed and will automatically resurface should a similar a collaborative conversation take place within the organisation.
Measurement and Analysis
As campaigns progress, marketers use SBS as a way to monitor, refine and measure their success. Alerts can be created for the possibility of any negative sentiment being generated and engaged immediately. Conversational touch points can also be monitored and some fine tuning done as a campaign progresses if required. Finally listening areas can be widened to capture and measure viral activity to form part of the success assessment metrics.
Web 2.0 has created some problems but also some truly amazing opportunities for marketers to reach a wider audience at considerably reduced cost in comparison to other channels. It also fundamentally challenges the creative aspects to marketing, demanding a greater degree of attention to be spent in this area. The Jiglu Social Business Software Suite brings together all the tools required to make the most of this rapidly changing world.