We’ve established this week the meaning and usefulness of brand activism (learn more at the OneNineNinety blog from the David All Group), along with how social media is key to attracting and retaining brand activists. But where do you start? Loading videos? Well, OK. Checking in on Foursquare? That’s good too. But there’s a piece of the puzzle missing – research!
Yeah, it can be boring. Your research won’t be as exciting or flashy as Frank Luntz and his dials. However, if you do your research right, you’ll be ahead of the game with your competition in your social media use.
What kind of research am I talking about? I’m not saying you have to hire a research firm to survey people by phone or conduct a focus group. I’m talking about common sense research. Here’s some ideas:
1. Get to know a brand activist.
How many businesses? How many individuals? Are there more businesses following you on Twitter than on Facebook? This can influence your approach to writing status updates. What are your followers updates about? What have they “liked” recently? Keep an eye out because the more you know about your brand activists, the more you can do to appeal to them. If you have a manageable number of followers, there’s no excuse for not knowing everything you can about them. This can be really helpful for local and state political candidates and leaders who can connect more to their brand activists than, say, the President or a company like Target.
2. Scope out the competition.
You have to do everything better than your competitors and, therefore, you have to know what they’re doing on Facebook or Twitter. Watch what worked for them. Find out what didn’t. Get familiar with their approach to social media so you can differentiate your organization or campaign. Keep a separate list or group for your competitors on Facebook and Twitter to make things simpler for you.
3. Be trendy.
You have to keep up with industry trends because the social media world is constantly changing. We at Donehue Direct try to make things easier for you by directing you to interesting articles about industry trends. However, there’s a lot more information out there. Check out PRSA and Mashable articles on a regular basis. Read lots of blogs!
Research doesn’t have to be complicated, although it might be time consuming. Without research, you’re basically firing a shot in the dark. So know who you’re talking to, how to be better than the other guys and what’s in style.