Monday, May 1, 2017

Social Strategist: 3 Actions Items to Promptly Connect With Your Audience Without Alienating Them

As a social strategist, it is important to quickly connect with your high value markets to participate in discussions, exchange ideas and grow your business.  As a graduate student at Northwestern University, the Medill School of Integrated Marketing Communications, I have two articles that will help you understand why it’s important to monitor social media and be opened minded beyond the feedback that you receive.

The NYTimes article United and Pepsi Affairs Force Brands to Respect Social Media by Sapna Maheshwari, discusses the importance of in-house monitoring of social sites and reacting quickly to address any situation at hand.  For example, when the United Airlines passenger video being dragged off the plane had gone viral, it reminded companies to understand the power of conversations on social media and its negative effects on the brand image.  Today, all the social media feedback is made public therefore pushing companies to invest more and build a stronger social media team.  Companies are using analytics to group data, understand the gravity of the situation and train employees to better respond with a high awareness of consciousness.


Cass Sunstein, author of #Republic takes on a different approach to social media’s effects on society.  He states in The Economist article, In Praise of Serendipity,  that the filters used by social media limits different points of view to readers.   For example, his book talks about Facebook promoting shared experiences through similarities and people in the same circle of family & friends. Sustein believes that people should request social media to play a role to “foster a culture of curiosity and openness.”  Today, marketing is in real time and listening has become mandatory for communities and companies.  Society can benefit more from "eye opening"news and shared content if companies like FB can provide content curation with opposing viewpoint offered through an algorithm option of more or less information.

After reviewing these 2 opposing articles and from my graduate studies in the Northwestern Medill
IMC program,  I highly recommend a few action items that you should consider in your social media strategy.

  • Simplify Customer Access – Make sure your brands have an easier way to access consumers in real time by investing in social media monitoring.
  • Interpret Consumer Responses – Use social media analytics to tackle situations before they spread and welcome new ideas to prevent future mistakes.
  • Promote Curiosity – Share opposing views with your audience by introducing to them to new sources of forums, blogs and networks.                             

As marketers, we must practice humility connecting with our audience and define new ideas to them.  If all the social media content is customized, then people will NOT be exposed to new ideas and different perspectives in life; aka democracy.

Bella Brahmabhatt is a passionate marketing and social media strategist.  She’s pursuing her Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications at Medill- at Northwestern University.   Bella is a lifelong learner and you can get in touch with her on Twitter @bhatt_ta.


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