Branding and Social Media Is it really for Free?
Normally, one of the main advantages of Social Media that often gets highlighted is that the channels are free or cost very little. We can certainly come to this conclusion when establishing an initial presence on Social Networks. It doesn’t cost a single euro to open an account on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, to name a few quick examples.
But this myth starts to fade when we see what’s required to manage these accounts. Social Media offers us a wide range of pre-paid tools, which are virtually indispensable if we want to really contemplate the impact of our Web 2.0. Some companies have understood this need and have increased their investment in these tools.
Names like Sprout Social, Radian6, Brandwatch… may become very familiar when we manage our Social Media from a professional perspective. But, where do we start? Although the sheer number of tools may seem overwhelming, there are lists that can help us to make the right choice.
We can’t be guided exclusively by the price of these evaluation services on Social Media. As always, we have to be sure of what works best for us, and that’s where one of the pillars of branding comes in: having a well-defined strategy.
In the specific case of Social Networks, we should determine which KPIs and/or metrics best suit us or are a priority for our interests. Do we want to generate visits to our website? Disseminate our latest viral campaign? Get to know what our community thinks of the latest addition to our catalog?
From there, we should look for the services that offer data which best fits these parameters. For example, if the axis of our strategy is Twitter, we can turn to SocialBro to help us get to know our community and the impact of the content we are sharing, or to Radian6 which would allow us to monitor the conversations that take place on the Networks concerning our brand.
Another habitual belief is that anyone can manage a brand’s presence on Social Networks. Here, we should opt for a work team that fully understands the product/service that we intend to disseminate. Sometimes, this competence is sacrificed in the name of reducing costs. It’s worth not skimping when it comes to allocating personnel that know the company essence to a tee.
The eruption of Social Media in branding strategies has shaken up the scheme of things. While establishing a Web 2.0 presence is relatively simple, and free in the majority cases, getting on the right path and knowing the direction in which to head is another matter, and one that requires investing resources to achieve the desired efficiency.