Strategic Social Networking

Strategic Social Networking

Internet Social Networks have changed the way organizations work. Some new aspects have to be taken into account thanks to these networks, for instance, the way companies relate with clients. Not every company is required to have a Social Network presence, but even if they don’t, some new concepts have to be acknowledged.  One of the new concepts is that now clients have a greater level of control and power.

When an organization decides to have a presence in Social Networks, they have to understand this as a strategic decision. Being part of Social Networks can bring great exposure to any company or brand, but it also brings problems. For instance, your social networks can be used to make user complains public, something that if handled improperly can be quite negative. So before you jump into Social Networks, analyze what this means and what it requires.

There are several points to analyze, the first being how Social Networks are going to be handled. For this, you can decide to open a new post just for this aspect or assign this duty to someone in marketing and/or customer service. Whatever you decide, this has to be a person with ample knowledge of the company, who can respond to any type of inquiries. Also, he or she must have excellent English writing skills. It is also essential that this person has the full support of the company’s top executives.

The second aspect is defining the communication policies. For instance, how often is the company going to send messages, the type of messages and how to answer user requests. Other elements like tone have to be considered. This information should be written if several people are going to be in charge of managing the Social Networks.

The next element is defining the Social Networks where you want to have presence. There are too many Networks, so you have to decide which the best ones are. Today you might say Facebook and Twitter, but in a few months Google+ can be very interesting. It is very important to analyze proactively the Social Network market to define what changes have to be made to the strategy.

The last key aspect I want to include today, is building a unified strategy for your organization, including Social Networks. Whatever you do in Social Networks has to be aligned with what you do with your Website and your physical presence. If you send one message through Facebook but a contradictory message is sent through other means, this can be seen as poor coordination by your clients.

Image taken from Flickr.com

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