Enterprise social media programs are getting serious – really serious! If 2017 has showed us anything, it’s that things change quickly, and innovation happens at the speed of light! This year, for the first time, Social Tribe had the luxury and privilege to collaborate with several clients on their strategies for 2017 well in advance. This time around I’ve noticed a marked shift in priorities as compared to the “wash, rinse, repeat” social media channel management programs requested by clients in previous years. Top of mind for most is developing fully integrated and measurable influencer programs, along with an interest in leveraging employee advocacy tools.
What’s causing this new swing in focus? While social media at this point is by no means a new industry, most enterprise brands have spent the last several years building the infrastructure of their social media programs, refining audience profiles, engagement strategies, channel management tactics, refining reporting, etc. The foundation has been built. Now, it’s time to grow.
Building Trust and Loyalty with Social Influencers
The number of channels and tools available to brands has continued to expand. After jumping on every bandwagon for the latest trending platforms only to get burned when they collapse (sorry Meerkat), many social strategists are taking a more judicious approach. However, now that it’s clear that channels like Instagram and Snapchat are here to stay, the focus has been on integrating these new opportunities into existing programs in an organic, sustainable way. The answer = social influencers.
“Trust is quickly becoming the global — and most-valued — currency of modern time.” With the thousands of variations on each type of product available, consumers want to make sure they’re not spending their hard-earned money on a piece of junk. On the B2B side, an endorsement from a trusted, recognizable name in the industry can make the sale, especially when the price tag comes in the multiples-of-millions of dollars.
The case for social influencer programs has been made, and brands are investing- BIG. Now they’re asking: What should our high-level influencer strategy look like? How can we leverage influencers in a fully integrated omnichannel social strategy? What kinds of tactical activities should we use on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis? This is where I’ve seen many brands making major strides in 2017.
“In the future, just one trusted influencer will make a very big difference in telling a more complete story behind your brand.” – Sylvia Santelli, Social Media Strategist, SAP
Tapping the Power of Employee Advocacy
The cost of paid social is going up and up and up. A dollar doesn’t buy you what 75 cents got you in 2015, and it won’t buy you what 50 cents bought you in 2014. Pouring more and more budget into paid social programs is not sustainable for many companies. They’re looking for strategic ways to get their content and messaging out. The greatest untapped resource are their own employees. Many of them want to build their own social followings, support their company, and position themselves as thought leaders in their industry. Employee advocacy tools allow them to do this all at the same time. The key is to identify the right tool for your company, focus on user adoption, integrate metrics from those tools into your regular reporting cadence and above all, make it EASY for them to share! Once you have a system in place, you’ll be in the enviable position of sitting back and reaping the rewards in increased reach, engagement, and share of voice.
Start your search with Voicestorm (from DynamicSignal), LinkedIn Elevate, and Hootsuite Amplify, but don’t limit yourself to that list. With several tools on the market, you’re bound to find something that fits well with your program.
Cheers to the future of social media!