As the social media landscape matures and technology advances at lightning speed, one of the key issues businesses are looking to address is how to get more measurable value out of their social media program. Don’t get me wrong; we’ve come a long way. Contrary to a few years ago, most businesses today understand the importance of maintaining consistent activity on social media channels and striving to engage social audiences. But the reality is that in today’s innovation-driven market, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. To get more out of your social media program, you need an integrated social marketing strategy, and you can use innovative technology like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data to help.
The Social Media evolution
In the past, social media management was frequently treated as an afterthought. Social media managers were often the last to know when it comes to marketing and communications initiatives. They’d get last minute requests to promote an event and PR announcements would cross the wire without a heads up to the social department… sound familiar?
The result is a reactive process instead of the strategic approach businesses need to gain the most benefit. Integrating social media (from the beginning) with the broader organization is the key to long-term success. Why? Because social media is a direct touch point with key audiences – current and prospective customers, influencers, media, employees, prospective employees, etc. Therefore if your social media team is out of the loop… guess what? So is everyone else.
Luckily — thanks to technology — integrating social media programs across the organization is becoming easier, more automated, and more results-driven.
Using new tech to integrate social media across your org
To structure an integrated corporate social strategy, social media managers need to be able to focus on company-wide initiatives including lead generation, public relations, analyst relations, internal communications, etc. This ensures they are ‘in the know’ about what’s happening within the business and key initiatives from start to finish. When integrated correctly, social media professionals can then contribute their expertise to whatever campaign is being discussed and fully leverage this information to create a strategy to successfully engage online communities.
New technologies can then be implemented to help keep social media managers on top of what’s happening in their online communities, so they can engage in company-wide discussions and focus more on integrated strategies and big-picture ideas.
Here are a few keys areas where technology can add strategic value to a social media program:
- In-depth social insights: using big data to see in-depth social media insights can provide marketing and sales teams with key information about demographics, industry sentiment, product feedback, competitive insights, etc.
- Strategic targeting: using a mix of big data analysis and machine learning, brands can effectively harvest data on social demographic information (age, gender, location, job title, etc) to target users with messaging in a language they understand and push offers, deals and ads across social channels.
- Social engagement: Chat bots are growing in popularity, and many industry leaders predict that this technology will revolutionize sales and customer service over the next five years. In the meantime, machine learning and AI offer the most efficient means of engaging millions of social media users
- Social analytics: by using a machine learning algorithm, you can combine human understanding with the scale and speed of automation. Analysis built on machine learning allows you or your analysis team to train the algorithm to categorize posts and pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for.
Now that you see the big picture – how will you start using tech to create an integrated solution? I’d love to hear from you — share your thoughts / questions in the comments below.