Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, internet forums: brands need to be on them – but to what purpose and how?
Be present on social media
Every brand needs a presence on social media, but many marketers are unsure about how to get one. There are hundreds of tools available to make the task easier, from software that monitors online chatter and sentiment about your brand to systems that create content on social media sites. There is also software for creating social advertising and tools for evaluating the effectiveness of these campaigns.
But how to choose, especially when marketers struggle with a maze of competing offers and prices?
“One of our biggest challenges is educating clients about what these tools do and don’t do,” says Jeremy Waite, head of social strategy at Adobe in Europe, which markets the Adobe Social suite of tools. He says marketers are often confused about their social media strategy, imagining it’s just about increasing fans on their Facebook page. “What a lot of people don’t do is ask why they are in social media, what they are trying to achieve and how that lines up with their business objectives – and how, from that, they can reverse-engineer a solution.”
Get clear on objectives
Marketers need a clear picture of their objectives before deciding which tools they need. If the aim is to find out how people perceive their brand, social media monitoring tools can do the job. The main monitoring services include Salesforce’s Radian6, Heartbeat from Sysomos, Brandwatch, Face’s Pulsar and Crimson Hexagon. These will search out mentions of a brand on blogs, forums, Twitter and other open social media sites. They will also attempt to gauge the sentiment behind those mentions – whether positive or negative – and identify influencers. However, they all tend to deliver different results.
As Paul Fabretti, head of social media at 02-owner Telefonica, says: “Most monitoring tools do similar things – they tell you about the volumes of mentions of your brand, the sentiment and where the noise is coming from. But each has their own proprietary algorithm for gathering and processing results. I’ve rarely seen two tools that provide exactly the same answers.”