Finweek English Edition - - INSIGHT - Don’t be the ob­nox­ious per­son that doesn’t stop talk­ing about them­selves. Don’t be the creep look­ing to seal the deal with one of your guests. Don’t be the wallflower that says noth­ing.

Twit­ter would make them the tar­get of neg­a­tiv­ity,” he adds. “What they fail to re­alise is that it’s not the pres­ence of so­cial me­dia, but the ac­tions of the busi­ness that make them a tar­get.”

An­other mis­take, ac­cord­ing to Car­ne­son, is view­ing Twit­ter purely as a mar­ket­ing or brand­ing tool when there are ac­tu­ally ad­di­tional func­tions for en­ter­prise use – such as re­cruit­ment, lead gen­er­a­tion and as a real-time, al­ways-on cus­tomer ser­vice chan­nel.

“There are very few brands us­ing the chan­nel to its fullest abil­ity, but some lo­cal brands are do­ing a great job as to­tally-im­mersed so­cial busi­nesses where they have so­cial gov­er­nance in place, a so­cial ed­i­to­rial board and make Con­verse, but lis­ten first. Twit­ter is like sit­ting down at a ta­ble dur­ing a din­ner party… ·

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· Be hu­man, ap­proach­able and en­gag­ing. De­fine your pur­pose for the chan­nel up­front. Know your au­di­ence. Know that if it’s worth cre­at­ing, it’s worth pro­mot­ing (or­ganic reach will only take you so far).

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Dono­van White, so­cial me­dia strate­gist at dig­i­tal agency NA­TIVE VML, says that some busi­nesses have had great suc­cess on Twit­ter when it comes to cus­tomer ser­vice – us­ing the plat­form to learn about cus­tomer be­hav­iour and then ad­just­ing and re­spond­ing ac­cord­ingly.

“If the brand is in the FMCG [fast­mov­ing con­sumer goods] mar­ket, for ex­am­ple, then a deep un­der­stand­ing of con­sumer be­hav­iour is re­quired in or­der to find that sweet spot and to iden­tify cus­tomer needs – some­thing which Twit­ter can solve in a unique way,” he says.

White cau­tions that if a brand is go­ing to be on Twit­ter, it must have a per­son­al­ity “that can connect with the con­sumer in a per­sonal, pur­pose­ful and ex­pe­ri­en­tial man­ner”.

This i s some­thing t hat FNB’s @RBJa­cobs Twit­ter ac­count has got­ten When re­view­ing the ob­jec­tives for a po­ten­tial Twit­ter cam­paign or strat­egy, the ex­perts in­sist that bud­get must be part of the con­ver­sa­tion. How­ever, while busi­ness lead­ers are used to de­vot­ing bud­get to t ra­di­tional ad cam­paigns and the oc­ca­sional glossy ad­ver­to­rial, they cer­tainly aren’t used to as­sign­ing bud­get for Twit­ter and other so­cial me­dia cam­paigns that are sup­posed to be free − a wide­spread and fa­tal mis­un­der­stand­ing, ac­cord­ing to the dig­i­tal gu­rus.

To­day, there is so much con­tent cir­cling around that one needs to pay to be heard. Hence Twit­ter’s everexpanding list of ad­ver­tis­ing op­tions, such as pro­moted t weets, pro­moted ac­counts and even pro­moted trends.

“So­cial me­dia is only free if you do not va l ue your t i me,” i nsists Fleish­manHil­lard’s Car­ne­son. One of the big­gest mis­takes that busi­nesses make, he says, “is not mak­ing the in­vest­ment where the con­ver­sa­tions are hap­pen­ing”.

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