In this connected world, every company is required to have a social presence. A great way to do that is by creating a social network, but an important thing to ask is what is the social network for? There should be a clear strategy behind creating a social network. This in-turn will help you justify the investment in nurturing the network, developing a success matrix and calculating the return on investment. The vast array of issues that can be addressed by a social network makes the resource allocation a more intriguing task.
There’s no magic formula for making a successful social network, but here are some points we should keep in mind to increase the chances of success:
- Connection to your core business: The social network should have a clear connection to your core business. The easiest way to make sure you get this right is by making sure the customers of your product or service are the customers of the social network. Even if you are not talking about the product directly, by having this crucial link you can make sure that the social network is subtly marketing the product to the target audience.
- Scope of the network: It is very important to answer a simple question: why will anyone come to our network? And even more important, why will anyone come again to our network? This question leads to defining the right scope for the network. While defining a social network, an organization should try and expand the canvas. There are very few products out there about which people are passionate enough to spend time on a social network, but there are way too many issues and topics of interest that can pull people to your network. It is better to talk about quit smoking than nicotine tablets, travel and tourism than luggage, and running and hiking than shoes.
- Drive to closure: The importance of usefulness of social network is comparable to the importance of having a social presence. The best way to make a social network useful is by having closure for the discussions. Driving issues to closure and making important decisions based on discussions at the network will encourage customers to participate in the discussions and develop brand loyalty.
- Alignment to support the network: It is important for all relevant parts of the company ranging from product development to customer support and advertising to align in order to support the network. The social network is one of the most direct ways for an organization to get in touch with its customers. By aligning these different divisions, an organization can make the most out of the social network.
The network should have the magnet required to attract customers and the glue required to make them stick to it. A network for the sake of it will never work, but a network that adds some value to your customers will do wonders for your brand.