Pardon my French, but is THAT your social media plan for 2014?

By Ioana and Raluca

Missed us? (Yes, Mom, I know you did…love you too!) After quite a long absence we decided to start The (fairly) New Year with a set of digital marketing resolutions for brands to include in their plans for 2014. In the era of Impatience and of digital detox, it’s getting tougher for brands to strive in social.

Now that we are back to our sheep, here’s what we’ve put down on our to do list:      socialmedia

  • Mingle. Diversify your presence. Because having only one social network in your bag is soooo last year! Think big and act bigger as the success of your campaigns depends on your brands’ ability to integrate the high intensity traffic on all social media lanes. Not sure which platform to choose? Here’s Jeff Bullas’ great article on  social web demographics that will help you set sail.  In 2014, make sure you go where your target audience is, especially on rapidly growing niche platforms such as Pinterest, Snap chat, and WhatsApp.
  • Tingle. Focus on visual content. Yes, rapidly adapting your content to a visual form will be vital in 2014.  Check out this Social Media Examiner article which presents some easy-to-use tools that your social media team will love (remember our Christmas Cards?) as they will help them create nice images to support your content strategy.  Need more convincing? According to research published by the GlobalWebIndex, Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform worldwide.

Veni, video, vici! Do get creative in expressing your brand values the fast – it’s 6 just seconds with Vine! – but  impressive way.  It is vital for your digital strategy to cover video as there are plenty of good stories to be written here. Just look at Old Spice, the saga continues in 2014.

  • Get nimble. Success comes to those who don’t wait, but listen carefully, analyze and act. So let’s all be good sports and keep our eyes on the…..trends.  First present for you from edible Packaging and Haptic Technology: JWT’s 100 Things to watch in 2014. It’s up to you to get yourself the second and coolest social media gift of all: the best of analytics! Be good to your numbers and they’ll be good to you, that’s the greatest learning of this big data era. And here’s the second line to this tune: set the right metrics, then count your blessings!

How do we do all of this?

  • Stay simple. Especially with B2B communication, this is a major sore point, but one that can be easily fixed if you keep in mind the communication characteristics of the platform you’re about to embark your message on. Quick, easy to read, informative and humorous, if possible, will do it! Don’t take our word for it, just read what The New Yorker has to say about it. Briefly put, though you’d like everyone’s bells to ring at the most specialized of catch-phrases in your domain, don’t forget that when in Rome, you might want to speak just as the Romans do…

How do you do that with highly technical and intricate explanations or descriptions that you are supposed to promote? First, think whether your audience will want to read that kind of info on the platform of your choice. Is that platform generally perceived as THE SOURCE for technical specifications and detailed HOW TOs? Once you’ve crossed this bridge, there comes the question of dressing that info up for the occasion: is a 35 page, Times New Roman, 10 font, no photos whitepaper REALLY the way to go on social? How about creating a lighter (not dumber, mind you!) infographic to showcase your magnificence? With this box checked, put your words where your page/account is! A twist of phrase, a pun, you know…the works! All in the name of smart business communication.

  • Stay true. It takes a whole lot of courage to admit to your faults or limitations. It won’t hurt you a bit if you run a quick check on whether what you have to say really has the watercooler-conversation-starter potential that social media requires. Pick and choose the types of content that you yourself would want to engage with and request the type of reaction that seems most appropriate: do you LIKE our presentation, do you AGREE (as in comment) with the findings of this report, do you think this is important to the industry? Then SHARE It. Not everything is shareable or likeable. Just admit it!
  • Stay focused. Until you actually witness the-thing-we-are-not-to say-for-fear-it-might-happen , just keep prepping your communication up for social. First, decide whether you can afford going social. Do you have the resources to create materials that are adapted to the specific platforms you are to use? Are those platforms that you can afford useful as communication tools in the markets that you’re interested in? Do you have the human capital to curate, manage or otherwise take care of your social media properties? If all this is covered, then set your objectives calmly and rationally: first build a community, then work with it; use social only when you need this kind of a loudspeaker, not just because it’s trendy; get facts, not suppositions on each platform’s utility in business communication; understand the mechanics of the platform before you hop on it and don’t assume that if a specific tactic worked for traditional media it will work with socila too (can I hear a “yes, I know my Facebook edge rank rules?” and a “of course I know regular Twitter posts cannot be geo-targeted?”)

Long list, lots to do. Go, happy 2014! 🙂