QR code with adidas logo

Successful communication campaigns start with specific communication objectives based upon strategic intent that stems from the company’s overall communication strategy. A social media campaign enables you to structure messages and responses that optimise impact and reach in engaging with new and prospective customers through the sales cycle and from awareness to conversion. Below are eight significant steps involved in the process of planning successful social media campaigns.

Strategic intent

The desired position of the company in relation to the current position with stakeholders is what informs strategic intent. It is formulating what needs to be changed or consolidated in order to attain the desired positioning with stakeholders.

Defining measurable goals

Social media campaigns should start with SMART objectives that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Campaign goals inform content strategy. It also enables you to establish how successfully the campaign is going or has been.

Identifying target audience

It is necessary to target specific campaigns to particular stakeholders because organisations may not be able to communicate with all stakeholder groups simultaneously as they do not always all respond to the same stimuli. There are also sub groups or segments within each group. It is important to identify the segment of individuals from a stakeholder group that is the focus of a particular social media campaign.

Establishing a theme

A theme based campaign emphasises a specific topic or message that is central to a particular aspect of the company such as brands, products or corporate strategy. It also showcases specific company strengths or capabilities. It considers the target audience’s demographic, interests and culture. It will be affected by the social environment and channels available.

Campaign Types

Campaign objectives determine the campaign type. Campaign types include:

Informational campaign
A campaign type that is geared at keeping customers and stakeholders informed and up to date with new products, services and company news.

Promotional campaign
This type of campaign aims at promoting sales by making customers aware of special offers, sweepstakes, discounts and so on.

Transactional campaign
This type encourages customers to make a purchase using coupons, QR codes or other promotional offerings.

Engagement campaign
This is a campaign aimed at generating specific reaction or participation from customers.

Event campaign
An event campaign is related to a particular event and communicates information that create interest and encourage participation in the event.

Choosing a message style

Message styles could be any of the following:

Rational
Factual and informational.

Emotional
When it appeals to or evokes specific emotions such as joy or excitement.

Generic
When raising awareness of issues that are industry-wide.

Symbolic association
Association with a respected or admired public figure such as a sports figure.

Pre-emptive message style is similar to Generic but communicates a superior position within the industry.

The target audience and campaign objectives are factors that determine appropriate message style or mix of message styles which can be enhanced through the use of creative and appealing stimuli.

Channels

In social media, communities control the dialogue and where it takes place, whether Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, company blog or other channel. An effective social media campaign will include all channels where the interactions are most likely to occur and where they may lead. A multichannel approach is therefore useful in ensuring a successful social media campaign.

Online efforts may also be combined with offline methods such as in the use of Quick Response QR codes which a user scans with their QR barcode reader or camera phone. QR codes can be used to enhance your campaign by providing the customer with special deals or offerings available online from the company.

City Harvest QR code

City Harvest charity uses QR codes to increase donations

The budget

The budget available will affect communication objectives and the processes involved in planning and executing the campaign.

It is also essential to analyse the impact of the campaign and to evaluate it for results, whether the campaign goals were achieved or not and to what extent.

The core of social media is content. This is why there needs to be an effective content strategy. Brands need to provide their followers and prospective customers with content that provides meaningful interactions and incentives if they are to attract and keep the attention of the social customer.

It is necessary to create and distribute content that helps to attract, engage and acquire prospects and that is effective in bringing about profitable customer behaviour.

Creating effective and relevant content

Creating value
Social media content has to be relevant to be effective. All customers have questions and when the basis for generating content is to help your customers and prospects answer their questions and solve their problems, it becomes an excellent way of providing value.

So find out what problems your customers and prospects may be having that is related to your industry and market and begin to solve these in the social media content you provide.

Creating consistency and authenticity
Credibility can be achieved when a company adopts integrated social media across relevant social channels and consistently offers relevant and valuable content as opposed to just bombarding the audience with sales propaganda.

Consistency of message content and chosen way of communication enhances authenticity. The brand can thus be trusted.

Targeted Content
You should create valuable content targeted at your particular audience. Your content should resonate with your customers and prospects that you want to attract, engage and acquire.

Different thinking styles and preferences for consuming media should be considered. For example, some people may like images or videos and others may prefer texts. All these can also be combined to provide meaningful interactions and rich customer experiences.

Calls to action
Calls to action such as to subscribe, or register for an e-newsletter will encourage future participation and enhance engagement. This will eventually help to achieve the ultimate goal of bringing about profitable customer behaviour such as in placing an order.

Conflict could be caused by conflicting values, perceptions and motivations of team members. Conflict management is necessary to ensure that team conflict does not hinder productivity and the achievement of organisational goals. It is important to make sure that conflict results in a positive and constructive outcome and not a destructive one. A constructive outcome is where problems get resolved, there is a positive behavioural change and the team works better together. A destructive one is where problems are not resolved and the morale of team members is negatively affected.

Team conflict resolution

The following are ways to enhance effective conflict resolution:

  • Asking questions and listening to understand the problem and each person’s perspective on the matter
  • Considering each person’s needs, aiming to promote fairness and well-being
  • Genuinely showing a willingness to resolve the conflict, repair the relationship and foster unity
  • Looking for a common ground and identifying common interests
  • Being proactive in problem-solving, exploring ideas and asking for needed advice
  • Arriving at a solution that is fair, choosing the best option after considering likely solutions

stattMeetingInter-departmental collaboration is important in every organisation and is essential for an effective Social CRM system. For example, the Marketing and Communications department need to liaise with the Customer Service department regarding customer interactions and any complaints while it is the Sales department that provides up to date information on products, pricing and the sales and purchase cycle. Therefore, Social CRM works better when carried out cross-functionally and this relies on good working relationships to be effective.

Good working relationships
Good working relationships can be built by promoting a climate and culture of mutual respect, trust, loyalty, co-operation and the achievement of common organisational goals.

It can be enhanced by:

  • Providing clear direction and clear vision
  • Communicating team values and goals to all members
  • Establishing ground rules for what is acceptable and what is not
  • Establishing a method of listening, encouraging feedback
  • Considering each person’s ideas as valuable
  • Respecting individual feelings
  • Promoting unity among members
  • Promoting clear communication
  • Encouraging information and knowledge sharing
  • Evaluating individual and team performance, providing feedback

We all know the power that mass-media can wield in shaping public opinion and how it is sometimes used negatively to manipulate and distort facts. This is also true of social media. In this video, veteran investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson shows how fake grassroots movements funded by political, corporate, or other special interests manipulate and distort media messages.

Cultural capital is the new important factor that gives competitive advantage. Strong culture, which includes strong values, when added to good strategy will result in high performance.

Values are significant aspect of corporate culture. Corporate culture is made up of beliefs, behaviour and values of leaders of an organisation. The leader manages and steers the values of the organisation in a way that enhances positive corporate culture so as to achieve high performance when combined with intelligent business strategy. A values-driven culture will focus on all stakeholders, especially on the needs of employees and customers. Organisational transformation begins with the personal transformation of the leaders.

Below is a blog post by Dean Deguara on Creating Healthy Culture that I also wanted to share with you.

Dean Deguara

Image by David Castillo Dominici courtesy of @FreeDigitalPhotos.net Image by David Castillo Dominici courtesy of @FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Culture is the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization. Here are some key questions to ask yourself and your people when searching the soul of your organization and creating healthy culture:

What are the shared attitudes of your team? Awesome attitudes create awesome atmospheres. When these types of attitudes our shared amongst team members it creates authenticity, honesty and transparency leading to a culture of trust. On the other hand, wrong attitudes that exist among team members can lock up an atmosphere and create a culture of mistrust. Instead of open and honest conversations, a lot is said behind closed doors. Instead of having each other’s back, team members are stabbing each other in the back. An organization’s altitude is determined by the people’s attitude. Sharing the same healthy attitudes as a team requires shaping the…

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Proxama was at TFM&A 2015 to showcase Mobile Proximity Marketing

Proxama was at TFM&A 2015 to showcase Mobile Proximity Marketing

Mobile Proximity Marketing, as redefined by Proxama, delivers targeted campaigns matched to the context, location, behaviour and profile of the customer, increasing dynamic connections with consumers and ultimately, loyalty and sales.

Proxama was at TFM&A 2015 with their latest project to showcase how these new technologies work and how they can be maximised to increase consumer engagement and measurable returns. With the help of Loka, Proxama’s new app, Beacon notifications deliver special offers and information to consumers’ smartphones when they are nearby, perhaps while they are shopping on the high street.

Coca-Cola softdrinks
There are 6 billion sim cards in use worldwide and mobile devices represent 10% of total internet traffic and this is still growing. Coca-Cola is set to capitalise on this growth and use mobile rich media to create experiences and interactions between consumers and the Coca-Cola brand. This should help the company towards achieving its 2020 vision plan.

The Coca-Cola mobile ad that lets you buy the world a coke from your mobile phone is a great example of this kind of mobile rich media.

You even get to add a personalised message as you send the coke to an unsuspecting person across the world. There are specially created vending machines globally for you to choose from and you see a customised video of your coke as it travels across continents. The recipient of the free coke gets to record a personalised message that is sent back to you.

stakeholdersImageStakeholders are those people, internal or external to your organisation, who would be affected by the decisions and activities of your organisation and who in turn have the potential or ability to affect the company.

These stakeholders will agree to opt in to your social CRM if they perceive some advantage for themselves. This perceived advantage varies with each stakeholder group and could be anything from good reputation to improved customer service. Social CRM contributes to Marketing, Sales, Feedback, Service and Support.

Stakeholder Analysis is necessary to identify key stakeholders so as to achieve effective communication that will engage each key stakeholder group for a mutually beneficial relationship with the organisation. For example, it will help determine the right social media channels and what media to use.

It is the stake that each stakeholder holds with the organisation that determines their type and level of influence.

The following are 3 different types of motivation or stakes that determine the type of key stakeholder.

Economic stakes
This is usually the largest group of stakeholders who would be affected economically by your organisation’s activities. They include employees, customers, suppliers and competitors.

Equity stakes
These are those with some level of ownership of the company such as shareholders and directors.

Influencer or Moral stakes
These stakeholders are mainly concerned with standards, responsibilities and community. They  include professional bodies, government, regulators and the media.

croppedSCRM-infographic

Analysis and identification of stakeholders will enhance your social CRM as it will help to devise the most effective ways to engage and collaborate with the key stakeholders of your organisation.

Corporate Social Responsibility

The European Commission puts forward a new definition of Corporate Social Responsibility as “the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society”.

CSR relates to activities by companies over and above their legal obligations towards society. Through a strategic approach to CSR, companies will be better positioned to react to changes and to take advantage of new technology, thereby encouraging new markets and growth opportunities.

CSR necessitates engagement with internal and external stakeholders. Social media networks are effective marketing tools to enhance CSR because they are interactive and immediate communications platforms.

Various ways to use social media to drive CSR

  • Using YouTube video to enable consumers learn about the company’s philanthropic and Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.
  • Provide an opportunity to connect and engage with loyal customers around social responsibility issues and create a sense of community.
  • Connect with influencers and community leaders
  • Find out more about their audience and customers and how best to serve them
  • Provide thought leadership and information on the issue
  • Enhance effective customer service and corporate identity

Companies build separate Facebook pages and Twitter profiles for important philanthropic or social responsibility programmes. These help to publicise the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility achievements such as the communities they have impacted positively, beneficiaries they have helped and funds that they have donated to charities. Social media can help them to spread the word and amplify their good causes, thereby increasing their fan base and influence. An example of this is CSX’s Facebook contest for Earth Month.

CSX launches Facebook contest for Earth Month

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