Social Media for Enterprise Marketing

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Social Media for
Enterprise Marketing

by Faulkner Staff

Docid: 00021920

Publication Date: 2202

Report Type: TUTORIAL


For enterprises, talking with current and potential customers as social
media peers opens up new communication channels and engages people in the
collaborative, personal ways in which they now interact online.
Social media marketing is a new skill to learn, however, and there are
risks involved. Taking advantage of this opportunity requires
understanding a new culture and finding ways to meet business goals within

Report Contents:

Executive Summary

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Social media is a proven branding and communication channel, currently
accounting for a significant share of spending on enterprise online

Developing an Effective
Employee Social Media Policy Tutorial

Social media provides important tools in two kinds of enterprise
marketing: external brand development and internal
business process/worker engagement. But a key issue is that social media
is a fundamentally different style of communication for many enterprises,
and it will take some learning on the part of most decision makers and
corporate communicators. Social media creates conversations. You cannot
entirely control the message, and it is a bad idea to dominate,
monopolize, or excessively manipulate the social media communities in
which you participate. On the other hand, social media marketing and
engagement offers an opportunity to have unfiltered, authentic contact
with customers.

Because it is still difficult to precisely quantify the impact of social
media efforts on concrete events like conversions, lead generation, and
revenue, maintaining a social media presence should not be undertaken
frivolously. Instead, it is important to have a clearly and thoroughly
articulated business strategy with defined goals. In addition, it is
wise to be fully prepared to monitor your enterprise’s social media
reputation by actively tracking sentiments, preparing a crisis action plan
for 24/7 response, and clearly articulating policies on employee use of
social media both at and away from the office.

There are a variety of software tools to help run social media campaigns,
with features such as automated multi-site posting, community
monitoring, and reputation management. A well-conceived social media
marketing plan includes an analysis of such tools, their fit to business
goals, and their ability to scale as the social media operation
expands externally and internally.


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What Social Media Can Do for Enterprise Marketers

Social media has become an important platform for digital marketing,
offering an opportunity to:

  • Engage All Customers, All of the Time. Social media,
    and in particular micro communication media like Twitter, are often
    spontaneous. Monitoring the chatter around your brand can
    yield authentic, timely customer insights that are very difficult
    to capture with planned efforts (e.g., customer experience surveys,
    customer initiated contact through Web sites).
  • Propel Word-of-Mouth Brand Awareness. Social
    networks are essentially peer cultures bound together by mutual
    interest. By virtue of the fact that you are participating in the
    community at all, you are a member. When talking to potential customers,
    you get to skip the first stage of the traditional branding effort:
    making a connection.

What Social Media Can’t Do

Social media has limits too and can only meet some of the needs of

  • A Social Media Marketing Effort Can’t Run Itself. You
    won’t get a mature, fully engaged community if you just start it up and
    “let it run,” because participants will be self-selecting and probably
    not representative of your larger audience. Social media allows you to
    create very personal relationships with customers, but probably not each
    and every customer. When you try to forge brand loyalty, create brand
    awareness, or improve the customer experience, it is very important to
    understand with whom you are communicating. Behavioral research shows
    that for every person who posts user-created content, between 10 and 100
    times as many people read the posts without actually contributing
    anything. This silent group is critical to any marketing effort, so
    getting them to engage is a chief job of social media marketers.
  • A Social Media Marketing Effort Can’t Implement Itself. For a social media presence to build an audience, it needs fresh,
    valuable, and interesting content. Social media management is different
    from website management; it requires constant attention to keep
    customers’ constant attention.

What Successful Social Media Campaigns Have in Common

Many enterprises have successfully used social media to increase
awareness of their brands, drive sales, and improve customer satisfaction.
The common characteristics of a good campaign appear to hold across
business categories. A good campaign does the following:

  • Solves a problem or improves customer experiences. Customers
    it easier, more convenient, or more pleasant to use social media than to
    do the same task in person or on the phone.
  • Is mobile friendly. Mobile devices have very small
    screens, and user experience rapidly deteriorates if significant
    navigation is required. Single purpose apps with flat navigation
    architectures help mobile users. Short communication is also preferred.
  • Allows members to play a role in building the community,
    contributing to its value, increasing its breadth, and maintaining its
    This approach has proven advantages: 
    • It creates a sense of ownership and loyalty.
    • You are more likely to attract productive, desirable community
    • Community members add value to the content you provide and help to
      keep content fresh.
    • Community members are very often the most credible experts on your
      brand and can enrich the experience for their peers with information,
      advice, and hands-on tips.
  • Has a strong, knowledgeable executive sponsor who likes
    uses social media technology. This
    is crucial, and it is a good reason to consider the use of external
    consultants, who can push a staid or conservative corporate culture in a
    new direction.
  • Has, from the outset, a means to generate revenue or quantify
    . Returns may be expressed in terms of specific
    improvements to the customer experience or in dollars, but there must be
    objective metrics for documenting the benefits which accrue to the
  • Has a defined plan for generating and maintaining high quality
    community engagement beyond the implementation phase
    . In
    contrast to conventional marketing strategies (such as advertising and
    other forms of “outward looking” brand development), social media
    marketing relies on an ongoing exchange between the enterprise and the
    community that it builds around its brand.

General Best Practices

It is important to have a plan for capturing, integrating, and leveraging
business intelligence mined from social media marketing efforts.
Ultimately, the only justification for enterprises to use social
media is to motivate current and potential customers. For this
reason, social media decisions should be derived from business
intelligence and should be integrated with enterprise processes and
decision making.

Align business objectives with the characteristics of the social media
communities in which you participate
. In effect, using social media
for enterprise marketing amounts to building a meeting place where your
business objectives and a population of interested customers or
collaborators intersect. The customers are engaging in a community and can
be characterized by demographics, interest areas, and the needs that they
are seeking to meet. So, on one hand, if you find the right context and
moment to interact with social media community members, you can
effectively deliver your message, learn about what your customers are
thinking, and gain valuable early insight into what products, services,
and innovations are likely to be well received. But, on the other hand,
you will suffer poor results if you misjudge your timing, address the
wrong community, or are overly commercial in your approach.

Be flexible and anticipate the need to evolve with changing
social media culture
. Even with meticulous, well researched
implementation plans, social media marketing efforts must change and adapt
in order to be fresh and appeal to customers. Too much rigid planning
prevents a social media campaign from evolving, learning from experience,
and building new solutions that will take you where your community and
customers are headed. 

Set goals, track performance, and be prompt and nimble in
adapting to changing circumstances
. Good tools exist for
measuring how well social media is helping to promote an enterprise. It is
good to start out with a strategy for capturing information about how
social media users end up at a particular Web site, on what pages they
land, and how likely they are to deepen their engagement. Then a company
can use the data to refine both its social media effort and its Web

Specific Best Practices

Establish an Employee Advocacy Program. Daniel Ku, Director of
Marketing at PostBeyond, recommends that enterprises establish an Employee
Advocacy Program. “Employee advocacy is the promotion of a company by
the people who work for it. When employees are proud to be working for a
company, they’ll want to let the world know. And when they do so, their
voices go further and gain more trust than traditional branding. A study
from Fleishman Hillard … found that consumers trust a company’s
employees three times more than the company leaders.”1

Listen Attentively to Customer Comments. While it may seem
obvious, Ku also advises listening carefully to customer comments and
complaints. They will tell you what’s wrong and, in many cases, how to fix

Communicate Via Customer Preferred Channels. A 2017 Clutch Social
Media Survey revealed that certain forms of social media content are more
“engaging” than others, with consumers (hopefully, future customers)
overwhelming preferring – and, therefore, paying attention to – written
articles, videos, and images:

  • Written articles – 27 percent
  • Videos – 26 percent
  • Images – 24 percent
  • Offers/promotions – 10 percent
  • Infographics – 7 percent
  • Quizzes/polls – 3 percent
  • Webinars – 2 percent3

Provide Support Via Social Media. Analyst Michael Brenner suggests
that enterprises create and cultivate a reputation as a “responsive,
caring brand” by offering support via social media:

  • “Create a system for tracking customer comments, questions, and
    complaints on social media.
  • “Respond as quickly as possible to questions and concerns.
  • “Go out of your way to be positive and helpful.
  • “Listen to criticism and make customers feel heard.
  • “Know when to resolve public conversations in private messages.”4


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According to Statista, “Facebook was voted the leading social media
platform for marketing in 2021. Roughly 93 percent of surveyed marketing
experts stated that they used the site for promotional purposes, which
comes as no surprise, considering Facebook’s extensive global user base.
Another social media platform that has turned into a lucrative marketing
destination is Instagram.” Also, “TikTok is one of the fastest-growing
brands worldwide, and seeing that social media marketers always look for
ways to connect and communicate with consumers, an app with impressive
download and engagement figures can just do the trick.”5

Overall, the leading social media platforms used by marketers worldwide
as of January 2021 are:

  • Facebook – 93 percent
  • Instagram – 78 percent
  • LinkedIn – 61 percent
  • YouTube – 55 percent
  • Twitter – 48 percent
  • Tik Tok – 9 percent
  • Snapchat – 4 percent6

It is possible that the market landscape will change significantly, just
as Facebook supplanted MySpace, but it is more likely that the current
group of leaders will use their large communities and brand familiarity to
hold onto their positions. For enterprises that use these services, the
effective leveraging of social media will require committed, sustained
efforts in the following:

  • Social content creation
  • Monitoring social conversation channels
  • Upgrading existing marketing content to include elements like social
    sharing buttons
  • Establishing a dashboard style management approach for assessing the
    effectiveness of multiple messaging and branding activities


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Consider Using Social Media Management Software

Navigating the uneven terrain of social media is difficult, whether for
marketing or other purposes. To improve their prospects for success,
enterprises should consider deploying social media management software.

According to MarketsandMarkets, the social media management market should
grow from $14.1 billion in 2021 to 41.6 billion in 2026, reflecting a
remarkable compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.6 percent during the
forecast period. Not surprisingly, the sales and marketing segment is
expected to command the most attention. “For example, sales executives can
use social media management solutions (such as analytics and listening and
monitoring) to analyze which social media channel generates the most sales
lead, what the targeted audience is most interested in, and how the
content of their interest is relevant to their [enterprises]. Social media
analytics software gets information from various social networking
streams, such as Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. The information can be used
to improve social media marketing campaigns and sales.”7

Major providers operating in the Social Media Management space include:

  • Adobe (US)
  • IBM (US)
  • Google (US)
  • Oracle (US)
  • Salesforce (US)
  • Digimind (France)
  • (Denmark)
  • Zoho Corporation (India)
  • Brandwatch (UK)
  • Talkwalker (Europe)
  • Agorapulse (France)
  • Sendible (UK)
  • Socialbakers (Czech Republic)8

Measure the Effectiveness of Social Media Marketing

As the competitive imperative to engage in social media marketing
increases, it will become increasingly important to quantify results,
evaluate the effectiveness of various approaches and strategies, and
identify opportunities as they emerge. Pay attention to the following key
indicators in order to evaluate the success of social media branding and

  • Engagement. Track Twitter ReTweets, @replies, and
    shares to infer whether content is resonating with your target audience.
    Look for Likes, +1s, comments, mentions, and wall posts on Facebook to
    understand how your audience is aggregating.
  • Social Conversions. Track click-throughs from
    social media to landing pages on enterprise Web site pages and analyze
    results to determine how to best tune both website content and social
    media engagements. Find out who your most attentive audience is based on
    landing pages, time spent, and depth of engagement.
  • Enterprise Goal Achievement. Profile the activities
    of users who come to a website via social media click-throughs or
    referrals (coupons, contests, etc.).

Maintain a Reputation Management Program

Using social media exposes an enterprise’s reputation to new risks. A
message that is poorly crafted or accidentally sent can look bad and
linger forever in cyberspace. Enterprise can help to avoid these issues by
formally managing their social media activity. A reputation management
program supervises social media communication (among many other
activities) from the planning to the publication stage and involves many
departments, from IT to marketing to legal affairs.

A reputation management program will do the following:

  • Define policies for approving social media posts
  • Provide tools such as templates and style guides to ensure the
    consistency and quality of messages
  • Identify threats to the enterprise’s reputation
  • Define how the social media community will be monitored
  • Describe crisis management policies

One commonly used measure of online reputation is the volume and nature of
complaints made over social media. Airlines in particular have become a
well-known target of social media anger. But the volume of such complaints
and the ranting tone in which they are often delivered can make it difficult
to use such data to better understand customers.9 Without
investigating each incident, enterprises may find angry social media posts
to be mere noise that cannot effectively be interpreted, analyzed, and acted

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1 Daniel Ku. “The Importance of Social Media Marketing in
2022.” PostBeyond. November 8, 2021.

2 Ibid.

3 Michael Brenner. “Why Social Media Is Important for Business
Marketing.” Marketing Insider Group. August 9, 2021.

4 Ibid.

5 “Social Media Marketing Worldwide – Statistics & Facts.” Statista Research Department. November 15, 2021.

6 Ibid.

7 “Social Media Management Market by Component (Solutions
(Social Media Marketing, Social Media Asset and Content Management),
Services), Deployment Mode, Organization Size, Application, (Sales and
Marketing), Vertical – Global Forecast to 2026” MarketsandMarkets. August
3, 2021.

8 Ibid.

9 Jacob Passy. “Why You Shouldn’t Turn to Facebook and Twitter
with Customer Service Problems.” MarketWatch. September 14,

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