The Rules of Engagement
Social Media Marketing means exactly what it says it is. It is about being social. But, there are some ground rules that need to be established first. Hopefully this will help a company get started.
Engagement Standards Guide
A company can sometimes have multiple upper level employees writing blogs and posts pertaining to their area of expertise to engage with consumers. When writing for the company, a marketing manager should establish protocol ahead of time by writing a guide of how the company should be represented online. This establishes the tone of voice to be used when speaking on behalf of the company. It explains how to address the marketing segment that is being targeted for their brand. It also prevents proprietary company information from being leaked out. It defines everything ahead of time, so there is no guessing game, or back tracking, and everyone will be on the same page.
Engagement has a Voice - The "Persona Package"
When an employee posts a social media message for a company, as the company, the message that they bring ALWAYS has to represent the spirit of the company. This is the company personality.
If you have ever really looked carefully at a product package, it is functional, but it also aspires to deliver a message. The message, through branding, tells consumers its benefits and why they should choose it over others. It should be in a consumer focused written "voice." The design should be eye catching and creative. There is a lot of science into package design.
When setting up engagement marketing for your company, the person that speaks AS the company on social media (different from writing a blog as an upper level employee) is a form of packaging itself. This "Persona Package" should capture the essence of the brand and should speak from the heart. It should provide the added personal benefit of making each consumer feel a little company (((Love))), by providing answers, finding solutions, and brightening the consumer's day. A speedy, friendly and helpful reply to a consumer comment can really say the company cares. The "Persona Package" is not trying to sell the company's product. It is trying to sell the brand. They are, in fact, the brand come to life.
When any marketing representative posts on behalf of the company, they should be knowledgeable about that which they are speaking. They should be willing to share knowledge about why your brand exists and their part in it, if appropriate, again, without divulging company secrets. They need to show how they can set the company apart from other related companies. They need to make the company interesting. They also need to bring a call to action - a question asked to the consumer, or something asked of the consumer, so they feel that they are also bringing something to the table. Make the consumer feel that their thoughts and ideas matter. Get them talking about your brand amongst themselves. Develop a brand community. This is a great way to learn more about your consumers' needs, so you can make changes or new products in the future. There is always room for improvement in a company.
An Engagement Party
A company's online marketing representative serves their brand's community. If the community members are not pleased in the way they are, or are not, being engaged with, and can find a similar product elsewhere, they will leave. It is the marketer's job to keep consumers in the community. When a community member is happy, they will invite others into the community. The marketer needs to pretend they are hosting a party. Everyone wants to have an enjoyable time at a party. Don't they? Make things exciting for your guests! Make things entertaining. Make them want to participate. Make them want to stay. Make your brand community grow!
If you are in the Greene, Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, or Ulster counties of New York State and are looking for someone educated in social media marketing and graphic design, consider hiring me. I got my Masters in Marketing from Southern New Hampshire University in 2018 and my BFA in graphic design from Sage College in 2014. And, please tell me how your company engages with consumers, or ask me questions in the comments.