Ultimately, being there is not enough. A brand’s presence needs to be managed around the expectation of the users it comes in contact with and we think in many cases, those expectations follow some traditional marketing definitions.
Awareness—Social media is a great way to build awareness for a new online initiative, increase traffic and build on the effectiveness of existing assets. Do your legacy websites point to your Twitter account and Facebook page? Does your Facebook page push users to other online experiences?
Acquisition—Special offers can be tailored to each medium making for real ROI. It takes a smart approach and a realistic definition of goals. Both Dell and United Airlines are having success in this arena. Crafting an offer and an authentic reason to exist are paramount here.
Loyalty—Education, Utility, Empowerment are all players here. Simply tweeting about your brand’s Rewards Program is not enough. This is an opportunity to build relationships in a true one to one conversation. The first step is listening.
Customer Service—An obvious place to play in social media, it also can be loaded with the most risk. Brands must be prepared to beyond listening and become engaged, truly care and have an arsenal of tools available to assist in correcting issues. Simply bringing a call center script to Twitter is not going to work.
In considering which of these roles, your brand is taking on, you should carefully consider how your brands, online persona is constructed and managed. Is the brand voice of awareness the same one for customer service? For the sake of your users, we hope not.