Social communication requires small steps

Once online tools built especially for friends stay in touch, the media have since evolved into the digital platforms that companies now to advance the brand and revenue. However, companies adopting these tools must devote adequate resources and user mindset drive for success, say industry observers.

According to Gartner, by 2015, 20 percent of enterprises employing social media marketing beyond are expected to lead their industries in revenue growth. The research firm noted that social media is a seed point for companies to communicate information about themselves, products, services and promotions that consumers want to consider.

“Clearly, the marketing value of word-of-mouth is important as the viral aspect of the promotion of any particular retailer will be enhanced when the news spreads through the community that is influenced by the participants in the media social, “said Van Baker, an analyst at Gartner, in a report last month.

To reach customers, companies do not rely solely on one, but involved multiple platforms, namely, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and blogs to maximize your online strategy.

In an interview with ZDNet Asia, company global public relations director of the Social Text 100 is a media practice, Jeremy Woolf, said that a campaign of social media to succeed, companies must devote resources to hire the right people for the job, thinking of employees and change the style of operations and put the indicators to measure success.

Woolf said: “Companies that succeed in mobilizing the media have better marketing and analysis tools. They understand the need to promote the brand and to interact with fans, where opinions and comments Facebook and other platforms are being channeled to the relevant departments such as marketing to monitor. ”

He added that companies should understand that the mere creation of Facebook or Twitter account is definitely the way forward, and to make good use of digital channels, management must first understand how these tools.

Social media analyst Tim Baker agreed, noting that social media is not simply to have a Fanpage and businesses must be involved in the frenzy. He noted in a recent article that the mindset must change, instead of asking how you can work online network for them, companies should, in fact, know how to work with social media.

Baker added that even the big names let go of the idea that social media is something we only need to focus their business experience and start looking for a comprehensive, large companies will continue to let the smaller, more knowledge hungry and competitors go through them.

Large, less agile and dynamic
Woolf said that large companies may not be as nimble as smaller suits in adapting social media, and this is evident in the Asia-Pacific, where the digital platforms are considered new and businesses are not proactive as compared to counterparts in the United States and Europe.

Baker added: “What works for ‘Company A’ can be totally different from the” Company “B”. Some may think that they are only involved in B2B (business to business) so you do not need to be on Twitter, when in fact there are many B2B companies can get more out of Twitter than a B2C (business to consumer). ”

Having advised clients on media campaigns, social, Woolf found that while there has been a growing acceptance among organizations in Asia that social networks are important, remains a challenge to convince skeptics that B2B companies have not yet recognized the advantages of digital media.

He said that companies have not moved often headed by “old school” executives who have been 40 sales people, but is limited to working with traditional platforms.

“Until the digital natives – people who are experts in digital media – to assume leadership roles most important business, for now, I see communication platforms for these businesses to be built around social media, said.

Adoption of new
Nonethless, a growing number of companies in Asia have successfully used social media for brand building and marketing.

Low cost carrier AirAsia, for example, is reaping the benefits of a strong digital strategy, where his fan base on Facebook crossed the 500,000 mark this week.

The airline started to invest and build their social media marketing just two years ago, but today “is positioned as the leader in the marketing of social media.”

In a trip report tnooz technology Web site, Kathleen Tan, Regional Head of Commercial AirAsia, said the airline Facebook Fanpage has allowed the company to depart from the usual limitations of conventional marketing “that consumers are no longer reacting to.”

The budget of nine years old, experienced with the operating carrier of online advertising only for their annual “free seat sale” last November. The initiative was broken in a day ticket sales record registered by booking tool provided by Navitaire, which serves over 70 airlines.

Go digital AirAsia also helped save a significant amount to be spent on traditional advertising, Tan said.

With nine pages of Facebook, Twitter and four counts of a host of other digital platforms, said AirAsia has devoted a “central social media” on its website that the company believes will allow you to be “more relevant to the provision of content, based on feedback and requests from our customers, instead of just sending a marketing push one way or product updates. ”

In another interview with the web of travel, Tan admitted that he knew how “massive” social media could get until he joined the airline. “The savings goes directly to the bottom line and I can also use the money to hire more people in digital media,” he said. “The beauty of digital technology with the analytical. I can see where the sales come from [that is] something that can not be done with online media.”

Achieving business objectives
As noted by Gartner Barker, marketing is not the only function that can benefit from social media to achieve business performance objectives. For example, he referred to an aerospace and defense manufacturer sent a wiki to allow your engineering team to record and share meaningful interactions with customers. Although the software was a soft launch, its use spread rapidly to customer service and after sales information that is valuable in supporting customer relationships. A few months later, the software was used actively by more than 5, 000 people throughout the organization that Gartner did not name.

Barker said that in today’s connected world, companies must look beyond their boundaries and get to interact with other internal business functions, business partners, customers or potential customers, and even the social web.

For companies interested in climbing to the platform of social media, Woolf’s advice is to start small projects, identify appropriate initiatives for the digital world, then push these out to various platforms. Companies must also establish indicators to measure the effectiveness and success of the campaign can be extended to other projects, he said.

He added that by starting with smaller campaigns, opportunities will be greater success compared to “everything that participation in the business,” which may be too “massive” for companies to manage the whole night.