28 March 2011 8 Comments

Social media: why brands and professionals miss its real value.

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals


Social media is now a common dialogue among marketing Communication, communications and Public Relations professionals. The challenge most still have in justifying its application is centred around measurement and cost ROI. Ability   to define goal, action steps, target audience and justification for business needs will help in no small way. This will help in convincing top management to invest money in this new marketing platform.

No executive wants to invest a dime in any venture that adds no value to the bottom-line. As professional, we do think the first step here is to understand the nature of your business. This is essential because a business to business (B2B) strategy will be different from a Business to customer commonly tagged (B2C). If this foundation is not properly laid, one will be surprised to find out that investment is wasted or may not achieve maximum value. This I did not know at the earliest stage of my professional service. My research and ongoing dialogue to perfect my act has helped me better today. Understanding your business will also help you to know your audience and how well to court them on the social media platform as well as which ones to use.

While a business to business should target staff, Directors and key decision makers, exposing its offering to these target audience, a business to customer should aim at reaching the potentials as well as actual audience they intend to reach. If the strategy is mixed up, no substantial progress can be made.

Inability to properly identify the audience will damage every effort. More also, the process, action and result will be faulty. I do think these are some of the vital points that account for investment wastages on social media marketing. What we need to concentrate effort on are identified below. These lists are not exhaustive:

Business –To-Business– I was reading an online article recently and what I learnt will help. A B2B strategy should centre on relationship building. Social media efforts must also demonstrate assurance. In addition to this, it will be good if B2B social media efforts must build thought leadership within the industry. Through thought leadership, brand must shows expertise and a unique standpoint that distinguishes its effort.   What I also noticed with successful B2B social media use is that they need to plan for a long time and not just a flash in the pan activity.  Successful B2B social media use concentrate on long lasting relationship with the potential and actual customers. So if you are a B2B think more about such social media tools that support the above.

Business To- Customer: Most of these brands deal directly with customers. So the best strategy here is different from B2B use. Social media effort use here must reach directly to the customers and not just top leadership of any organization. All you need to do is build content that will get your brand discovered, build relationship. Aside from this, the content –in whatever platforms, need to educate the customers as well as done in a way that will overcome every buyer’s objection. There are more to these, can you share what has worked for you?

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