In today’s world of real-time advertising, customer storytelling, brand advocacy and the Internet of Things, each day brings new online platforms and updates to social networks. But just as important as the communication channels companies use is how they leverage them to respond to audience’s expectations, behavior and preferences.
As Brian Solis points out in this article, digital transformation is all about how people, as well as technology, are changing. Recent years have been characterized by increased connectivity and self-expression on social media, meaning how individuals communicate online is just as important as the technology they use to do so. After all, it is user preferences and behavior that ultimately influence the development of new and existing communication platforms.
Social media users have a previously unseen ability to connect and interact with organizations on their own terms. It so follows that brands must create, curate and converse in a way that ties in with audience journeys. Whether their objective is to guide prospects towards a purchasing decision, attract the best job candidates or build and maintain relationships with current employees on social media, companies must nail responsive behavior as well as responsive technology.
The Customer Journey on Social Media
Online consumers have come to expect a comprehensive brand experience, from the initial point of contact all the way through to ultimate purchasing decisions. So while the funnel often begins with the provision of articles that relate to the industry in question, further down the line it may be necessary to hone in on customer storytelling and product-specific expertise.
It is therefore up to companies to determine the type of content that resonates with audiences at any given time, as well as the best social network on which to provide this information. For more on this, read ‘Social Selling: Bridging the Gap between Marketing and Sales’.
Employee Advocacy: More than Just a Platform
But what of audiences whose loyalty brands have already won? What of the employees who have already made the decision to connect with their organization on social media? Many companies have turned to employee advocacy platforms, in order to showcase the organization through those who know it best. This is the future of social media communication. However, launching an employee advocacy platform is just the beginning.
Successful employee advocacy involves defining leadership roles, content marketing objectives and KPIs- both qualitative and quantitative. It requires companies to react to advocates’ sharing activity, optimizing content and gamification campaigns according to the content and challenges that generate the most engagement. In short, it depends on responsive behavior; companies’ ability to respond to how and why employees are using the technology at their fingertips.
Want to know more about how to launch a comprehensive brand advocacy initiative? Check out our publications, ‘Employee Advocacy: The New Frontier in Social Media Communication’ and ‘12 Steps to Launching Your Employee Advocacy Program’.