Before you spend your first dollar on social media marketing…

Exhibit, A Work In Progress

A year is a lot of time given the pace with which things are happening on Social Media. Yet, 2013 is likely to be the year when more organizations than ever in the past, got a sense of the great potential Social Media holds – both  in terms of establishing and fanning that powerful relationship with customers and the immense benefits of engaging with them, as well as in terms of the horribly counter-productive pitfalls lurking in the corner if they don’t do it right.

But the year has given us some great examples of smart use of Social Media – both as one-off instances as well as consistent brilliance in social strategy. Some notable examples include Taco Bell, Walmart, and, of course, Bodyform, maker of Maxipad about whom we wrote here earlier.

So what does it take for organization or its brand get its success on Social Media?

Social requirements

Getting budgets for Social presence, recruiting the right folks, forming the team and setting them off on Twitter and Facebook, you might believe, are the decisions that stand between you and ‘this other’ firm you know about that seems to be exploiting Social Media smartly.

Well, give me the pleasure of saying you are wrong. I say ‘pleasure’ because if i am successful in breaking that arguably naive belief that you carry in your mind, it could save you a lot of money (and the horrific counter-productive brand damage, if something does goes wrong). At least, it could well be a reality check for you that I think is in fact a screaming need in the industry.

Let me explain.

Comebacks

Take a look at Business Insiders The 7 Best On-The-Fly Corporate Social Media Comebacks Of The Year. See anything common underlying these 7 rather diverse examples? Well, I see at least two that I want to highlight here.

Firstly, all of them, as the title suggests, are come-backs. And there is a reason why ‘come-backs’ are the most pertinent measures of fruitful social presence. Social Media is dynamic. It is more staggeringly real-time than real-time has ever meant when it came to Marketing and PR.

Ever.

It is  about action and near real-time reaction. It is distinctly different from how we have traditionally seen Marketing and PR. I would argue it is not even an Avatar. It is an entirely new paradigm. If you’ve read Jeanne Roué-Taylor’s post here on Successful Work, you know what I am talking about. If you haven’t, here is the post where she talks about how we have come far from the Don Draper way of doing things.  Of course, we still like our Whiskey and all that, but you know what I am talking about.

Secondly, it takes lightness. You will see that common thread across all the 7 examples.

Lightness

It takes a natural embrace of the whole idea that makes Social Networking what it is and what it represents. All these examples in Business Insider’s post seem to have understood that truth. In the end, Social Presence is not something to take lightly.

Yet it is something you need to take some lightness into. Some humour.

It is not about self-interest. It is not about peddling. And, you might be shocked to hear this –  It is not about selling.

It is all about engaging. It is ‘engaging’ but not as a Salesman. Not as a brand evangelist. It is engaging. Period.

Engaging with a sense lightness, with humour, with unshakeable faith in a brand, of course.

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Categories: Customer Service, Disruption, Future of work, Marketing, Social / Collaboration, Strategy

Author:Jaisundar Venkat

Jaisundar Venkat is a process professional specialized in Business Process Management. Jaisundar leads BPM Consulting at a large technology firm and is on a mission to help companies achieve the fundamental promise of BPM. His areas of interest include BPM, CRM, SFA, Sales Performance Optimization, Corporate Performance Management and general IT industry developments & trends. He writes on these topics at his own blog, BouncingThoughts.com and also writes for a few popular sites specializing on Business Technology trends, specifically the crucial intersection between Business and IT.

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