Can a B2B brand steal a competitor’s thunder with the creative use of social media? Technology company AMD did in 2009, when they organized a TweetUp* during the Intel Developer Forum at San Francisco’s Moscone Center.
Although AMD’s marketers might have used Intel’s occasion to host a competing corporate event, they decided a social media event was a better way to engage their tech-savvy business audience. And to reach these influencers, they made sure that every brand touchpoint, including the upscale food, beverages and facility where the TweetUp was held, reflected their brand’s high quality.
This is just one example of how social media can maximize a company’s marketing budget creatively, notes social media strategist Neal Schaffer, who heads the social media strategy consulting practice Windmills Marketing.
Is a TweetUp right for your business? You might succeed like AMD. On the other hand, your best intentions could end in disaster. So how can you bring social media into the mix successfully and avoid missteps?
Schaffer shares his five-point checklist to jump-start your strategic thinking about integrating social media into your marketing and public relations programs.
- Set an objective. “The social media objective should be the same as your marketing or public relations objective,” says Schaffer. “Once you have an objective, the metrics will come naturally.”
- Focus on the customer. “What’s the customer demographic?” he asks. “Is the customer on Twitter or are they more likely to be found on another online platform?”
- Share information. Notes Schaffer, “Most B2B companies have a wealth of content that can help their customers.”
- Assign responsibility. Who will do the work? Schaffer points out that today many companies will team a “content czar” with a community manager. The latter is often a customer service professional and well-equipped to handle daily customer interactions.
- Be true to your brand. Your brand needs to be consistent everywhere, whether it’s customer service, your website, an event, email marketing, print, radio or TV.
Because social media is transforming the way we approach business, the important thing is to jump in. Social media is a commitment for your organization, but you’ll never know what works until you experiment.
*A social gathering organized around the Twitter platform
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