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15 Social Media Tips for the holidays

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Here's my holiday gift to my readers. To be honest, it's a regift, since these social media tips were originally published (in longer form) in the MarketingDaily. There are five tips on basic social media principles and approach and ten tips on criteria for planning social media programs.

1. Be human
Social media is about engaging with customers on a personal level, something marketers sometimes forget. In social media interaction, you should be asking yourself: 'What would a human do?' And do that.
2. Don’t overreach
Most brands, especially CPG brands, aren't all that engaging from a consumer perspective. So go easy on the pedal--the #1 reason that brands get 'unliked' on Facebook is that they post too frequently.
3. Add value
You can always add value, however mundane your product. You can provide useful information, take up an important cause or, if all else fails, give out coupons (which is what most consumers want anyway).
4. Listen and respond
95% of questions posted on their Facebook are not answered. 95%! I don't think answering questions is optional. You get to talk but you also need to listen and respond.
5. Use the f*ing tools yourself
Only 26% of CMOs are actually using social media tools. Not good enough!

1. Brand-led
Start with the brand, not the social media platform.
2. Theme-led
Build your social media activities around a specific theme. This helps pull everything together and makes the program more impactful. 
3. Product fit
Develop programs that take advantage of things your company is good at or known for. These will have more credibility, authenticity and impact.
4. Customer interests
Develop ideas that appeal to your customers. Find out what they like and what they care about enough to spend some of their limited free time discussing with you.
5. Other marketing program fit
Leverage your existing marketing activity. Programs that build on advertising or promotion activity or sponsorship events have a head start. 
6. Social media fit
Pick the right social media platform for your activity--each one is great for some things, less suited for others. Not everything needs to on Facebook!
7. Impact
Select programs that are worth the effort in terms of the number and quality of people they will reach.
8. Efficiency
Define the objectives of your social media activities upfront and identify the metrics that you will use to see if they worked.
9. Risk assessment
Assess the risk are you incurring with social media activities.
10.  Long term vs. short term
Make sure, especially for longer-term programs, that you are going to be able to support them both financially and operationally.

Meanwhile, The CMO Council has published a survey which shows that marketers are continuing to struggle with what to do with social media. The survey polled both consumers and marketers and found a significant gap between what people want from brands and what they are actually getting.

As the report says: "The bottom line is that consumers want more—more experiences, more engagement, more rewards, and more reasons to connect with each other and brands through social media. And brands are missing the boat. They see the benefits of reaching out to customers through social channels, but they aren’t yet fully invested. While 52 percent of marketers reported they believe their brands have enjoyed greater influence thanks to their presence in social networks like Facebook, only 17 percent said that social media is fully meshed, aligned, and integrated into the overall marketing mix."

Lots more to do in 2012!

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