Clear and coherent connections

When you consider how all-encompassing digital and social media have become in the past couple of years, it can be hard to believe that until recently we were limited to email, telephone, and before that sending content in the post or by fax. It’s no wonder social media is no longer being dismissed as a fad.

Digital & Social MediaThe increased significance of digital and social media over the past few years means that organisations have new ways to communicate with existing and potential customers. Crucially, it also means people have new ways to communicate with those businesses, something it can take a while for companies to adjust to. Monitoring and, where appropriate, responding to online communications is increasingly important.

Key part of branding

Social media activity is an important part of an organisation’s brand identity and the biggest challenge often involves maintaining a coherent and consistent message over a wide range of channels, including the company website, online videos, blogs and social media. Confuse your audience and you will lose your audience.

Social media activity should mirror any strategic element of PR and marketing communications. Key areas for consideration include setting aims and objectives, aligning your social media aims against long and short-term business goals, understanding your audience and making sure your content is relevant and engaging.

By having clear goals from the start, you reduce the risk of sending out mixed messages. It’s important that organisations are also able to provide ongoing research and resource to their social media activity as well as measurement and evaluation.

While it is crucial to be consistent with messaging, it is also essential that each digital platform is used in the way that users will respond best to. Different social media platforms lend themselves to different tones of voice. In a multi-channel campaign, it can be tempting to copy and paste messages from one place to another. Don’t! Some people subscribe to more than one channel, and they’ll lose interest if all of your content says the same thing in the same way.

Your content should be something people want to share. That way your message will spread to a wider audience. Infographics, images and videos are particularly shareable.

Who’s responsible?

As social media is still in its relative infancy, many businesses’ have been developing their activity in an ad hoc manner, rather than as a result of a comprehensive strategy. Responsibility for social media activity has typically been managed by marketing departments, alongside a number of other priorities.

At Ceris Burns International we are well-versed in managing a company’s reputation across multiple channels from traditional print media to online. Digital communications can be challenging but acting on the opportunity is well worth it to build your reputation on a global scale.

Clients are increasingly asking us to manage their social media activity – either wholly or to support their in-house marketing team – as they are recognising the benefits of outsourcing to a specialist agency which takes time to ensure the messaging is right. If you’re looking for some support or wish to hand responsibility over entirely, just let us know.