Developing an Effective Social Media Strategy

29 July 2015

In the previous article of this Executive Series, we discussed the importance of digital transformation. Singapore Post has built our company-wide transformation on three key pillars: customers, connectivity and consistency. In this article, we’ll discuss how to activate these pillars by developing an effective social media strategy.

The State of Social Media in Asia Pacific

In 2015, Asia Pacific accounted for more than 52% of the world’s social media users[1], a testament to the region’s growing position in the global social media landscape. Social channels have thus emerged as very important avenues for brands to connect with their customers and build unique brand experiences. It has also become an essential part of any contemporary marketing mix – advertising spend on these platforms are projected to reach USD $5.9 billion across Australia, China, India, Japan and South Korea by 2019[2]. Increased mobile usage is a key driver of social media growth in Asia Pacific, with over 900 million people accessing social media via mobile devices[3]. This number is expected to surpass 1 billion by the fourth quarter of 2015[4]. However, before jumping on the social media bandwagon, brands must first understand the demands of the online social space in order to leverage social media effectively for larger business goals. This all starts with developing an effective social media strategy.

The Foundations of an Effective Social Media Strategy

SingPost’s digital transformation is founded on 3 guiding principles – customers, connectivity and consistency. These pillars help us stay relevant to our evolving customer base and adapt to the ever-changing competitive landscape. Brands should understand that social media efforts are fundamentally customer-driven initiatives. As such, customer centricity should be at the core of any social media strategy. In embracing one of our key values of the Total Customer, our social media channels have played a pivotal role in helping us curate brand experiences that are relevant and engaging to the customer. Companies can make their brands accessible by creating multiple touch-points across relevant social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. The platforms a brand chooses should be where their customers are most actively engaged. In 2015, there were 1.69 billion social accounts accessed via mobile devices[5]. When thinking about customer experience, companies cannot limit their brands to traditional desktop and laptop experiences; it is critical that they focus on mobile platforms as that where the end customers are increasingly active. Most importantly, there needs to be top-management buy-in and commitment to the journey from the start to the end. Many companies make the mistake of valuing social media as a little more than a tacked-on marketing initiative; having social media as a key thrust can go a long way in serving broader business goals. By integrating social media as an essential part of the business, executives can then provide a clear, strong vision and objectives that cascade to the rest of the organization to effect change. This internal alignment in objectives will also ensure a greater degree of consistency across both online and offline branding across all customer touch points.

Steps to Building Your Social Media Strategy

With a strong understanding of what your objectives are, you can begin developing a social media strategy that strengthens customer relationships and increases brand awareness. Every social media strategy is unique but below are some key steps to get you started on developing your own strategy:

 

Key Factors to Social Media Success

There is no one-size-fits-all solution towards social media success – businesses need to formulate their own strategies that suit their business goals, customers and resources. This is particularly important in Asia Pacific’s diverse social media landscape, where localization of social media efforts is pivotal to staying relevant to customers. Here are some best practices to guide your social media strategy:

 

The growing influence of social media has made it an essential platform for organizations to connect with their customers. However, success in the social space demands more than just raw social media presence. It requires the internalization and commitment to a properly developed social media strategy. With a consistent, connected and consumer-centric social media strategy, your brand can take another key step towards digital transformation.


Resources:

  1. http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/social-media-asia-pacific-stats/614053
  2. Asia Pacific Social Media Advertising Spending Forecast (Forrester)
  3. http://wearesocial.sg/blog/2015/03/digital-social-mobile-in-apac-in-2015
  4. http://www.slideshare.net/wearesocialsg/digital-social-mobile-in-2015
  5. Boost Contextual Reach with Content Marketing with Mobile (Forrester)
  6. http://blog.hootsuite.com/9-tips-to-creating-a-mobile-friendly-website

 

Dr Bernard Leong
Head of Digital Services at Singapore Post Ltd
Dr Bernard Leong is the Head of Digital Services for Singapore Post Pte Ltd, overseeing the Group’s digital, mobile & social media strategy, along products and innovation across the organization. When not donning his corporate hat, Dr Leong plays a key role in the Southeast Asia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, serving as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at INSEAD Business School and mentor for JFDI.Asia, the region’s leading startup incubator.