They occasionally speak in hashtags.
They know what’s trending way before you.
I’m not talking about a group of high school kids.
This is the social media team. And today’s social media team is essential in developing successful marketing plans.
Social Media and Company Smarts
Social media extends beyond fans, followers, posts and customer service, to strategy, product development, content and the corner office. No part of the marketing department is more in tune with a brand’s customers than social media.
Not only does social hear complaints, comments and questions immediately as they occur, but the team also knows what content resonates best with the target audience. While customers still need to be able to access a brand’s customer service department through a variety of means, I find some of the customer feedback our team receives increasingly intriguing.
Our hotel clients have received requests for additional towels for their room through Facebook. We also receive questions from vacationers asking what the weather will be like for their trips, which are months away.
This shows how intrinsic social media has become to the consumer. It also shows how quickly consumers are expecting responses, especially in the case of the hotel towels.
Ask the Social Media Team for Marketing Insights
My 5 reasons why the c-level execs should talk to social media first when looking for marketing insights:
- The social media team is developing content monthly, weekly and daily for a brand. Creativity, insight and endless ideas are required to keep things fresh 365 days per year. The social team can provide evidence on whether your big idea for the year will flop or explode.
- Product development and social media need to be BFFs. Social is always doing polls and generating feedback from consumers. With fans saying you have to make this t-shirt in green or you have to come out with a line of bathing suits, your brand is getting new product ideas frequently and reliably. (Additional research can always be done to confirm these initial ideas.)
- “You’ve aged so well.” This is an easy one, but it can also be easily overlooked. Social data can tell you the demographics of your fans, and more importantly how they’re changing. If your fans are getting older or if they’re fleeing Facebook for Instagram, the brand may be in line for a serious strategy change.
- Data goes way beyond age. Way beyond. Facebook continually comes up with new ways to get data from its members. While users may not like it, brands should take full advantage. Through Audience Insights, brands can get aggregate info on lifestyle, location, types of pages people like and purchase activity.
- Content, content, content. If anyone in the marketing team needs an idea for content, look no further than the social media team. The team has endless ideas in this department, plus consumers are always giving them clues. In the case of the fans asking what the weather will be like months from now, write a blog about the beautiful weather year round, add a weather feature to the website and make a perfect weather video.
Social media isn’t going anywhere. It’s gone from the job given to a part-time, unpaid intern to the job given to a department full of specialists. Considering these teams are communicating with customers constantly, it’s a no-brainer they can provide endless insights into brands.
Talk to social media first and aim for #RecordProfits #totally #winning!