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August 13, 2014

ITEXPO Attendees Reminded of the Importance of a Compelling Social Media Strategy

By Carrie Majewski (née Schmelkin), Director of Content Marketing, Content Boost

ITEXPO (News - Alert) attendees took a break from tweeting, hashtagging ITEXPO and blogging this morning to get back to the roots of social media—including what networks exist today, why enterprises must use social platforms and how to go about crafting a best-of-class social media strategy in a panel discussion titled “Social Media for the Enterprise 101: Back to the Basics.” The session kicked off day three of Mobile Enterprise Expo, an ITEXPO collocated event.

As presenter Allison Boccamazzo, managing content producer of Content Boost, TMC’s (News - Alert) custom publishing division, succinctly stated, “Social media is taking over. Most C-level executives and decision makers already know this startling reality. In fact, it's hard to think of a piece of IT where social media does not have at least a presence.”

To evidence the growing ubiquity of social media for business, Boccamazzo shared the following video by Socialnomics with attendees (take a look below):

Among the most compelling statistics? Take a look:

  • 93 percent of businesses use social media for business
  • There are 1 billion Facebook (News - Alert) users, making it the third largest country in the world
  • The return on investment of social media is only five years

Despite the inherit benefits surrounding enterprise social media, a number of companies are still reticent about diving into the social networking realm. As Boccamazzo explained, “You may be thinking, ‘I don’t have the time to build my brand on social platforms,’ or ‘I don’t see how social media can help my business generate revenue.’”

“But business leaders who doubt the potential of social will undoubtedly feel the repercussions,” she added.

After all, an effective social media strategy allows you to develop an intimate relationship with your customers; it allows you to go all-in with a multi-channel customer engagement strategy; and it helps you drive customer acquisition and retention in a more organic manner.

However an effective enterprise social media strategy is not something you can slap together overnight; rather, it requires you to have a firm understanding of your market, the platforms your existing and prospective targets frequent, and the way in which they want to interact with your brand. So how do you get started crafting a best-of-breed social strategy? Start with the following steps:

  • Determine Your Target (News - Alert) Market: Who is your ideal client or customer and, more importantly, what platforms do they prefer to communicate across? Keep in mind that each platform attracts a different audience. For instance, the amount of teens using Facebook has dropped by 25 percent from 2011 to 2014 and, at the same time, the number of those aged 55-plus has grown over 80 percent over the same period of time, Boccamazzo shared.
  • Pick the Platform that Makes Sense For You: Once you know your audience, choose the social platforms that work best for your company and customers. “No one social channel is best for every brand—out of two companies using the same social platform, for example, one may see huge success and the other none,” Boccamazzo said. Part of being an effective social marketer is understanding which social networks make sense for you and which don’t need your TLC.
  • Figure Out Why Your Customers Use Social: This will give you a better idea of what kinds of information to push out on the social channels you are optimizing. It can also help you craft your editorial calendars for social. It’s your job to figure this out to craft the strongest social strategy that caters to your customers’ primary needs, Boccamazzo suggested.
  • Track Your Progress: See what’s working well and be willing to course correct along the way. Keep tabs of your social media metrics and beta several tactics and strategies to ensure optimum long-term success. Also be sure to do your research to stay on top of industry trends and happenings as you go along, according to Boccamazzo.

Be sure to check the ITEXPO news page throughout the week for more from Mobile Enterprise Expo and the rest of the ITEXPO sessions.

Edited by Adam Brandt
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