my tips for social media management in Romania and elsewhere (2/5)

This is the script of an interview I gave for a Romania business journal “Business Review Romania” in June 2012. The interview is published in instalments. This is part 2 of 6

Give us 5 tips for a Romanian company (a corporation, and medium-size company) to build brand awareness with social media

At first sight, one may think that social media marketing is only devoted to large corporations which can afford to hire big enough teams to manage such new activities.

But I think it’s just the other way round.

One of the biggest beauties of social media is that it makes word-of-mouth marketing accessible even to those who have very little means. Hence, unless you are a small and medium-size enterprise with difficulties to cope with your own business and not enough time on your hands to visit your customers and do your everyday work, I would suggest on the contrary that you use social media to gain brand awareness and do business.

small is beautiful

In fact, with social media you don’t actually do business directly. You do what Bob Pearson would call “pre-commerce” (Jossey Bass, 2011), i.e. you create the conditions for people to buy your products or recommend them to one another.

As a rule, large corporations have already built brand awareness (this is why they are large, in essence); what such companies might seek in social media marketing may differ significantly from what small and medium-sized companies may be looking for.

SMEs and Soho[4] businesses are by definition lesser-known and  have to build their brand awareness in the first place.

Having said that, I can deliver 5 general tips for enterprises which are ready to jump on the bandwagon of social media marketing:

  1. first and foremost, know thyself and use social networks consistently with regard to your image, and your overall marketing strategy (for different types of brands and strategies, check the work the non-profit Media Aces[5] did with brand monitoring company Synthesio,
  2. don’t shift your focus from business to social media: obviously, social media should support your business by enhancing your brand experience, awareness and/or visibility. If it distracts you from doing business, then don’t do it,
  3. focus on content: if you are in b2b, it will have to be very professional (in-depth articles about your visions and technical prowess for instance); if you are in b2c, your content has to be essentially entertaining, mostly on Facebook, on which users rarely want to be bothered with serious stuff but are more interested in games, polls and interaction,
  4. be yourself: there is nothing worse than bombastic boasts (such as “we are the leaders!” mostly when it’s not true and that you are only a leader of a niche therefore not a leader) or salespeople trying to sell their wares on social media. Think of keeping your readers/users and customers happy first, and then think of yourself. Be simple and natural, and when you produce content make it interesting for them, and not for you!
  5. “socialise” your website: not by multiplying Facebook buttons, but by making your (interesting) content easier to share.

[4] Small Office, Home Office, i.e. very small or independent companies

[5] Media Aces is the French association of enterprises involved in social media, of which I am the President. My work on the four different types of brand in social media is available at: http://bit.ly/4brandtypessm

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Yann Gourvennec

CEO & Founder at Visionary Marketing
Yann has a long-standing experience in marketing, information systems and Web marketing. He created visionarymarketing.com in 1996 and since then, he has practiced Web strategy, e-business and Web communications in the field. He was a member of socialmedia.org from 2008 till 2013. He is a lecturer, a keynote speaker, an author and blogger. In early 2014, he went from intrapreneur to entrepreneur when he founded his digital marketing agency Visionary Marketing.
Yann Gourvennec
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