Krishna De was a speaker yesterday at the “Turning Online Networking into Real Business” conference organized by HPSU Skillnet. Krishna has been working in the Social Media field for the last six years. Before that she has worked at senior levels with Guinness and Diageo. Her talk was a step by step guide to developing a Social Media laid out as a 30 day strategy to make it convenient to understand and easy to remember.
Krishna has been working in the Social Media since its earliest days and we took the opportunity to ask her how things had changed since she began.
“It’s great to see so many more organizations looking to embrace it and use it. If I look back about three years ago the organizations that were making most use of it were small businesses. One of the reasons we saw smaller organizations use it was very often they had recognized they needed to market their businesses for the recession. They had limited budgets, they didn’t have to have lots of forms of approval to be able to do it. [Social Media platforms] were free and they were easy to use and had a very low barrier for entry.
“Larger organizations at that time, and some still are, were nervous around things like, “What happens if people say negative things about us?” and “Not sure how we get started,” and so on.
“Platforms changed and became easier to use. When things like twitter became available you started to see journalists using it and the media using it and it became more mainstream. That got more people starting to think about it. What we see now is that a lot more organizations use these platforms, embrace them and put them in as part of their communications engagement plans and marketing plans.”
Has people’s approach to Social Media changed?
“It’s all about telling a story. I think we are going back to some core roots. There is a lot we can learn from story-telling. That’s what effective communication and marketing is. We remember the stories. I guess some of the people attending today would have remembered the stories today rather than the facts.
“What we need to do is go back to is, “What is the message and what are we trying to communicate and who with and how are we going to make this of interest to other people?” Then, “How might we use these different platforms to be able to do it?”
“The big questions are, “How does this make a difference to my business in terms of my communication, my engagement, my PR or whatever their measures are?”
“I wouldn’t disregard good old traditional media at all and that is why I like to think about Social Media as an integrated three hundred and sixty degree marketing approach because social proof is hugely important. We are influenced by our friends and we are influenced by traditional media. I wouldn’t forget those things. They are hugely important and we should integrate them where we can.”
How do you see the things developing and changing in the future?
“I think it is becoming much more simple for us to use these technologies which is fantastic particularly for somebody like me who is not a highly technical person. I think the way we can publish content so quickly and so easily is fantastic.
“There’s a few things I see happening. A lot of us have got smartphones now and we can search for information on them. We are kidding ourselves if we don’t consider the web as mobile. From a digital perspective you have to know how your core website renders for people looking at it on a smartphone of some description.
“I think the thing that is going to grow in the year ahead is video. It is becoming easier and easier to do. People will always cite YouTube but there are many other sites you can syndicate your content to and of course host your own content as well.
“Podcasting seems like a forgotten thing but a lot of people do love audio. I can multitask with audio. If I were driving and watching a video I would be in trouble.
“How do we build longer term relationships? If I look further forward there’s a couple of things I would look at like social commerce and social customer relationship management. The smarter companies are already moving into that. Anybody can get a coupon once but they may never come back to you. “How do you build a lifetime relationship with that person?” I think that’s a question for us in terms of marketing, engagement and communication.
“One the areas where Social Media is hugely under utilized is to enable better engagement inside the organization. The first people to use it were the marketeers but now you are starting to see other functions of the organization using it and it is now being linked into the sales processes and so on.
Employee engagement is absolutely critical in terms of making sure your people know what they need to and how to represent your brand. They are your brand as well. I think there’s a huge opportunity to get your organization to be more efficient inside.”
You can catch up with more of Krishna’s activities at BizGrowth News