A Niche, Impossible To Ignore
It is hardly possible to find a big company which does not have any social marketing strategy or at least doesn’t utilize social media channels to tell the world about itself. Evidently, businesses are not interested in having social accounts per se. Their purpose is to increase the potential clientele. The role of social media in the global infosphere must not be underestimated. Their audience is huge and grows really fast. In 2012, according to researches, the number of registered Facebook users was more than 2 billion and the number of Twitter accounts was about 500 million.
How does popularity work? The more users join a social network, the more famous it becomes. But then its brand becomes widely known and attracts more people. Finally, it becomes trendy, like: “aren’t you in yet?” Social networks grew from private groups to a global meta-community. News agencies, various vendors, entertainers, politicians etc. eventually joined it too. Now it is possible for an average user to get nearly all information he or she is interested in from Facebook or G+. So if you are evaluating pros and cons of launching your social media strategy, think about your competitors. Perhaps they are in the game already.
A well-featured DMS has therefore to be integrated with social media. This means getting options for transferring documents from and to social networks, incorporating existing corporate social accounts into the corporate collaboration network, and applying tools for social media analytics. For example, employees could be allowed to log into the network via their Facebook accounts which were tied to their profiles. Another useful and widespread option is enabling sharing of certain web pages from this network via Twitter, G+, or Digg. Finally, a company may want to get statistics about visitors who came from certain social networks. It would help finding communities where the brand popularity is higher and then the company could focus its marketing efforts in this area.
Corporate accounts in social networks also require proper management. Ideally they must reflect all important corporate news and be updated on a daily basis. This must include not only copying content but also communicating with page visitors and some participation in local activities.
A Risky Adventure
Of course, there’re always certain risks of misusing. Trendy brands inspire people to follow them, so does social media. Unfortunately it has some traps. Being huge decentralized self-controlling systems with very strong (and often instant) feedback, social communities have certain peculiarities which make it really challenging for a company to actively participate. Sometimes it is so easy to make a small mistake and then it suddenly goes viral.
When you launch a social media campaign, you should remember at least several important things:
- It is hard to gain massive attention. But it comes surprisingly easy when you don’t really want it (clicking the link above will give you several examples);
- People are different, so there’s always a probability of negative feedback. The best tactics is taking critics into account but never fighting it back (or you will get that unwanted attention, lots of it);
- No one likes automated replies. Automation is good but you have to ensure it is used appropriately;
- Daily posting and active participation in social communities’ life is a sure way to get more followers; but it is important to remember that people do not like open self-promotion.
Massive amounts of social networks’ users provide rich data for a company to analyze. Once its social media strategy goals are set and it follows best practices (including those listed above), it can utilize valuable information that various social communities can provide. Analytics and low-level tasks automation (i.e. auto-copying content from your website to your corporate Facebook or LinkedIn accounts) are therefore the cornerstone of successful social media tactics. And that’s where a DMS can help.
What Can ‘Social’ Mean For DMS
Big businesses usually tend to be more conservative. In many corporations social media is still regarded as a matter of fashion which has a doubtful value as an area of investment. From that point of view, social networks are just about fun, relaxing and small talk. Such people admit that nearly everybody is more or less involved in communicating via social networks but insist that business relations are not likely to occur here.
This opinion looks similar to the phenomenon of Big Data pessimism. Actually both these conservative ideas are correlated as social media is one of the most powerful sources of Big Data. The structure and functional principles of communities provide huge amount of statistical material for a company which decided it should play this game. Let us think about just one aspect: a customer feedback. Surely it’s a thing corporate analysts must work with. A company can interview its customers and cite them on its website. Or, it can enable comments on specific pages and encourage buyers to write product reviews themselves. In order to make marketing researches it would be useful to know as much as possible about each of customers. But won’t they be frustrated if asked to tell more about themselves? Well, user pages in social communities usually contain lots of personal data, open to anyone. Thus, comments, shares and likes on a corporate Facebook page could be very helpful in building a model of a typical customer.
Social media is naturally built upon the principles of collaboration and knowledge exchange which makes it a valid element of a DMS. Driven by the willing of free and rich communication, social communities could be really value-adding as soon as corporate collaboration system integrates with them properly.