Social Media platforms and applications continue to grow among the companies of regulated industries. Some, like Sanofi and Glaxo Smith Kline understand the benefits of interacting and not overselling to their customers. And now that more people are receiving health insurance than ever before, insurance companies have are learned the benefits of a well defined social strategy as an effective communication tool..
Some of the recommendations I make to potential clients include the following –
1. Take your time and don’t assume that you need to have an immediate social presence. Your social media strategy will need to be well thought out and defined – what do you want to accomplish? Thought leadership?, sales tool?, company news? Agree on your goals. Remember social media is just one part of your overall marketing strategy and should be incorporated as such.
2. Remove any of your social media platforms that are not being kept current. Content needs to stay fresh, or your visitors won’t come back.
3. I recommend (especially to non-believers) that one can begin to be understand social media by learning how to use it a listening tool. Google Alerts and Twitter are helpful in researching online conversations – what is being said about you, competition and your marketplace. Don’t worry about interacting and engaging just yet.
4. If it hasn’t been done already, educate all employees (including freelancers) with a clearly defined company social media policy. The examples are plentiful of executives saying the wrong Employees represent the company 24 hours a day and need to respect the rules. If they are expressing industry opinions online, it should be clearly stated that what is being said represents the feelings of the individual, not the company.
Don’t let all the buzz about social media overwhelm you. New applications appear at a dizzying rate, while older ones are always adding new features. Your company will adapt and either an internal social media ambassador or good consultant will keep you current.
Individual regulated industries and their social best practices will be discussed in a future blog.