Social Media: Creating Effective Communications Content (Past, Present and Future)
By Robert Kramberger, Marketing-Communication Consultant, Copywriter
“Corporate Communication”, in the traditional sense, comprised of information provided by companies for an intended audience, akin to a speech to a very specific audience.
With the advent of Social Media, that “speech” has become more of a conversation, sometimes, even a debate. This “chat” with customers, clients or partners can be both rewarding and daunting. And how you manage the ongoing dialogue will determine the end results.
Prior to Social Media, it may have been much simpler to control the message you wanted to deliver, but it was also less effective.
Take for example advertising a product or service: a brand strategy was conceived based on relevant data the company obtained, and the interpretation of the market need or demand. Creative was produced (let’s use television as the medium for this example). Time was then bought to air the ads based on media research to achieve the greatest impact. The only real ‘measurable” result of the campaign was recording how many consumers purchased your product or service.
But what if they were considering purchasing, but had questions or concerns? What if they liked the product, but were put-off by the tone of the advertising or corporate message? It was difficult to engage in effective dialogue prior to closing a deal (those dreaded in-store or mail-in questionnaires were too time consuming and cumbersome).
Today, your audience could be anyone, anywhere, through any media. They may see your “spot” (Website, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), share with friends or colleagues, provide comment/feedback, and become either supporters or adversaries for your company (neutral should also be considered as a negative).
This two-way (actually, “multi-way” would be more accurate) communication enables your prospective customers/clients/partners to immediately react and respond to your corporate message. How quickly and, even more importantly, how consistent you are with your message across all platforms, will determine whether someone becomes a proponent or opponent.
It is through this ongoing conversation or dialogue that your brand is now built. This is why it is absolutely vital when creating your Communications content (Advertising, Web, News Releases, Social Media, etc.), to anticipate potential responses and feedback that may be generated from your corporate message. Your audience has now effectively become a participant or “co-author” in establishing you brand story, but the company must always guide the developing plot.
Integrate all you Communications content. This means aligning your Communications, Marketing and Sales programs with a unified message and tone: reading from the same page, from the same book, so to speak. The stronger and more consistent your story, the less likely you will have to adjust or modify your content down the line.
Now that’s a story worth sharing.
“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.” ― J.D. Salinger