Hootsuite’s Dan Spicer talked to businesses about how to harness the power of social at the UK WSI Digital Summit today.
Social media has a massive impact in all areas of our lives. Whether it’s businesses, the media or politicians, social media allows you to get news out and engage with people in a fraction of the time it used to take. Something that happens in one place can be across the world in seconds.
If businesses use social properly, you can provide a great customer experience which will bring business benefits.
Dan gave some great examples of brands doing it well but one of the most memorable is Oreo. Remember when the lights went out at the superbowl? Oreo were quick to take advantage of the situation and got a social media post out that went viral. That social media post cost a tiny fraction of the official ad, but was seen, shared and liked by thousands more people. They were able to capitalise because they were monitoring their social media and were quick to engage.
Social is a great way to create a customer experience but Dan went on to tell the room that measurement taken in 2013/14 predicted that because of Social Business Incompetence
- ¼ of businesses will lose market position to a competitor
- 1 in 5 businesses will cede dominance to a business who is younger than them but using social effectively
- ½ of business executives are not engaged with social
Those are startling numbers. Especially when you consider that 92% of businesses asked stated that customer experience was one of their top priorities.
So where are we today? Well, if you go back 2 or 3 years, it was all about the numbers. Who could grab the biggest number of fans, follows and likes by whatever means, with many businesses making the mistake of buying likes and followers . Only then did businesses try and engage with those followers. An almost impossible task when your followers haven’t followed because of an interest in you, your product or service.
Today, the land grab is over. It’s about focussing on smaller groups of people; communities of customers and followers who already like or love your brand, product or service. It’s about using those fans to like and share your content and brand to get more reach. This is how the use of social in business has changed. It’s no longer a numbers game but all about quality.
How do you achieve that?
- Conversations. Talk to your following and respond to them when they get in touch. Responding is hugely important, and to do that effectively you have to monitor your social media accounts. Make sure you post cross network and use scheduling tools to help.
- Content. You need to publish good content that is of interest to your customers and potential customers. If you publish content that talks to their issues, it’s probable that it will be liked and shared more widely. Don’t just listen to your own social feeds, see what’s going on your competitors too.
- Measure. Use the analytics and reporting off the back of management systems to guide your decisions.
- Collaborate. Use your team or other departments to help share the workload. You can share specific social networks and have different permission levels to help manage security (useful for controlling publishing of content etc.)
There were many requests from businesses in advance of the event for a demonstration of the Hootsuite system and what it is capable of. Dan went on to give a high level overview of the Hootsuite system (after all, there’s only so much you can do in 45 minutes!).