Last week I had the pleasure of attending PRNews’ social media summit in New York City. The event was chock full of juicy insights, dynamic speakers, and even an interactive “crisis clinic”. Although I’m sure you’d love me to go through every panel in excruciating detail, I’ll spare you and highlight the 5 toplines instead. Each of these lessons is directly related to cause marketing, so keep them in mind for your work.
1. Social media goals need to align with business objectives.
I can’t emphasize this enough. It is entirely pointless to exist within social media spheres without specific and measureable goals, says Discovery Communications’ Amber Harris. Those goals better match up directly with what you want out of your business, or else you’re only participating in social media for social media’s sake.
Do you want to grow your audience? Do you want to amplify the voices of your best cause ambassadors? Figure out what’s most important to you, be authentic, and go for it.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that social media strategy should never be static. Make sure someone is monitoring your social media reach, and constantly reevaluate your goals along the way.
2. Engagement is key.
What I kept hearing over and over is the importance of engagement. When engaged, consumers, potential customers, and employees all become increasingly loyal to you and your brand.
Customers who feel heard and/or appreciated by your company will more likely than not come back for more and recommend you via their online networks. When a two-way dialogue exists, you’ll be able to better assess and respond to your audience’s needs.
Your employees are your best cause ambassadors. If they love their jobs, they’ll spread the word. If there’s a crisis in your organization, your employees are on the front line of questions—don’t keep them in the dark—give them the answers ahead of time.
3. Millennials want device flexibility.
Whether you’re revamping your website or announcing a new product, remember that in the digital age, people (especially Millennials) will be accessing your content via smartphones, tablets, and PCs.
Make your sites mobile- and tablet-friendly. If you do that, not only will you see more traffic to your pages, you’ll see more chatter about your brand. These days everyone is a content creator—so make it as easy as possible for consumers to spread your work.
4. Be human.
Gone are the days of the logo-only brands, “the customer is always right” mantra. While customers still rule, you now have ample opportunity to connect directly with them; let them know you’re more than a nameless, faceless company.
Clue consumers in to your causes and CSR commitments and introduce them to your employees. Williams-Sonoma does a great job of this in their first corporate social responsibility report by showcasing eight employees and their contributions to making the company and its affiliates more responsible.
5. Keep it fresh. Keep it fun.
Social media should be fun! Don’t overthink every tweet, every Facebook post. While it is crucial to have your social media objectives align with your business bottom line, social media is constantly evolving—so should you.
Don’t have 4-10 steps for a tweet to be approved. Social media is full of new content every second of every day. Don’t be left behind! If you keep it fresh, you’ll keep your audience coming back for more.
Now tell me, are you winning?
Photo Credits: Allison McGuire via PRNews Summit presentations