Social Media Collaboration: Choosing the right strategy for you
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Two things are true when it comes to human beings; one that we are social animals. We love to socialize or mix up with other fellow humans. And second, our media for communication with one another has changed over generations, vibing with the technology of that time. Be it letters, postcards, newspapers, books, advertisements, smartphones, email, digital media and most recently social media.
Social Media entered our lives when Orkut was ‘it thing’. Creating scrapbooks, chatting with your pals online, until Facebook took charge worldwide. And since then, we have seen a host of multiple social media snaking their way through our mobile phones and computers.
Social media doesn’t restrict itself to just socializing. Different social media serve different purposes. There are media for discussing academia, music, a particular race blog, a particular profession etc. People are on multiple social media according to their needs. And hence, there is scope for social media collaboration.
What is Social Media Collaboration?
Coming together in a particular social media and achieving common goals through sharing ideas and information and interacting with others, can be called as Social Media Collaboration. Here the concept of brainstorming and the fact that ‘ideas can be found anywhere’ comes together. Group Work is crucial for its survival, in contrast to social networking, which is more individual-oriented.
If we look at the statistics, an estimated population of 3.6 billion people are using social media worldwide which makes it one of the most preferred activities done online. A huge portion of marketing happens within the online space and often in collaboration with other people.
You are always marketing something- an idea, a song, a social message, an alternative etc. There is always ‘a something’ that is circulated everywhere. This can work as a huge potential if you can tap it to the fullest.
Why Social Media Collaboration?
Gone are the days when business was done by focusing on solving problems alone, developing one’s products and services in isolation. This is the era of collaboration where meaningful relationships are built and work is done to achieve a common goal.
To make things easier, here are 6 reasons why social media collaboration is beneficial:
- It shows that your venture is people/customer-oriented which makes it inclusive. Invite people to help them understand your journey and in turn, they advocate your venture to the world.
- It showcases that you are open to change by allowing space to bring in ideas and opinions, which may help gain new perspectives or answers to your problems.
- Within a company, such collaborations build strong relations among employees, which further leads to faster problem-solving.
- There is more engagement which increases your online presence.
- A healthy collaboration can be beneficial for the parties involved. The brand amplifies and the consumers feel that you are really into listening to what they want.
- And finally, there is a high possibility that your business will grow and branch out.
Complex Social media collaborations will undermine your media presence, so it is important to figure out how can you simplify the work using a team, tools and appropriate social media.
How Does Social Media Collaboration Work?
Companies, whether large or small have a team which are dedicated to handling the social media aspect of your company. Maintaining a brand image is an ever-evolving process. Being social is the new key to maintain an inclusive image, effective social media collaboration gains greater stand.
Collaboration can be effective if you have a team of socially active minds on board. Assign them different social media because different people are present within each platform, and using a linear strategy might not work everywhere.
Functionally, one person looks after content creation, another maintain engagement, others check for analytics and so on. Keep rotating the roles as well. So if there is a crisis on social media, then your entire strategy doesn’t shatter.
Social Media Management, in this regard, includes
- Strategy creation to understand the motives behind the brand going social. You can also set up a style guide for your that distinguishes you in social media. It depends on how you want to portray your brand- stylish, materialistic or minimalism.
- Analytical reporting becomes important as you will get insights regarding your posts and can see for yourself if the strategy is working. For example, check for monthly email subscribers.
- Collaborate with other teams to execute an all-rounder idea.
- Sales and customer inquiries
- Reviewing a new social network’s potential for the company
- Crisis management
Which Social Media to Choose for your collaboration?
Social media collaboration can be fun and profitable but unless you understand which platform to choose, you are simply wasting time. As mentioned earlier, different social media serves different purposes. Each social media has unique features which help to reach out to people.
Top 5 platforms for Social Media Collaborations are:
Social Networking sites
This includes Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Such platforms can help the business grow by market research, brand awareness, relationship building, customer service etc. Since these are among the classic social media, there is a high chance that people of all genres can be found here.
Media networks include Snapchat, Instagram and Youtube. The reason being these focus on audience engagement, brand awareness and lead generation. The live video augmented reality, real-time stories give an edge to these apps.
Discussion platforms include like Quora and Reddit where one can share news, information and opinions. You can find out your competitors and people can mention you in their posts for further engagements.
Content Gathering sites
These include Pinterest and Flipboard. These are a tremendous source of creativity and inspiration. Making your site bookmark friendly in this platform can help people save the ideas for further use.
Social Media Collaboration Tools
In order to make the best out the social media, you need tools which can assist you in planning and executing your ideas. Social media collaboration tools will assist you in work and all you have to do is unleash your creativity. Here are some options to choose from:
- Facebook Messenger, Slack, Slater, What’s App for Business are some tools to remain connected with your team
- Pinterest can be used to gather ideas from around the world. You can create boards and pin ideas so that you don’t miss out what you have saved.
- Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive are essential tools for file sharing.
- With the help of Canva or Adobe Creative Cloud, you can create customized posts for Social Media Collaborations.
- Using Trello and Zoho Projects, you can organize projects with lists and cards.
Types of Social Media Collaboration
Having set up the base with a Social Media Team, here are some ways you can do social media collaboration:
- Brand to Brand Collaborations
- Influencers and Giveaways
- Agency Collaboration
Brand to Brand Collaborations
There are brands in the market that may be doing the same thing as you are but in a different way. Or maybe they were in the game for some time now and hence people know it exists. To increase your presence, you can team up with them and enjoy the benefits together.
- Partnerships: You can enter into a joint long term or short term venture of associating with another brand.
- There is an agreement to promote and periodically share each other’s content to the respective audiences through cross promotion and content placement.
- Create engaging video content showing why you have undertaken a collaboration.
For example – Here Doritos partnered with Taco Bell to release new Doritos chips made of Taco Bell’s taco shells:
Other ways you can collaborate are,
- Create campaigns that gets people talking. In a social media collaboration, a campaign can work wonders, if executed properly. You can incorporate a cause that inspires you or find some way to give back to the community. By doing something good you can motivate your followers to get on with it too.
- Seasonal and holiday events can boost your social media collaborations because they are best you can offer for the upcoming months. These act as bonuses. If you are a candy company partnering with a costume company, then the Halloween season is a boost up for the business.
One of the main reasons why Influencers are a great choice for Social Media Collaboration is because of their followers. There are influencers with millions of followers which can be used for our advantage.
Look out for those who have common goals as you do and also look at what their content page looks like. Maintain engagement to get noticed. Once they see that you are genuinely interested, a joint venture proposal won’t seem such a bad idea.
For example – Here the influence of the character Deadpool was used to strategically collaborate and promote Espolòn tequilla:
This strategy helps to create a genuine display of their products to gain brand loyalty from a trustworthy source.
- Paid Posts where you can pay the influencer to promote your brand. So you must choose wisely as your money will be put into it.
- Gifting the influencers, inducing them to promote it. You can also offer a discount for their followers.
- Contest and giveaways. There is always a buzz around a contest, especially if there is a chance of lucky winners. In this way, the engagement increases and word spread faster.
- You can engage in a takeover, where the influencer either posts on your behalf through the company account. Or else you can ask them to send their posts, so that you post them directly.
- Tap the full potential of hashtags by either creating a new one or using the already popular ones.
Some agencies might want to publish content in addition to what your Social Media Team does. Although you much choose carefully as to who can align with your strategy, an agency collaboration can help further your social actions.
For example – In 2011, Microsoft Corporation and Toyota Motor Corp. launched a strategic alliance to jointly fabricate a software platform dedicated to managing
the information systems for electric vehicles:
Blogging provides for authenticity and also paves way for organic traffic to your social media. Some people like to read up stuff and this can work to your benefit. You can collaborate and write posts which includes several businesses you have teamed up with. Highlighting links can encourage the users to check out further. Sites like WordPress, Medium and Tumblr can help you achieve this.
Social media collaboration is essential to a business because it introduces your company to a whole new set of people who now have access to your products and services for the first time. One can co-create new products as well. Different social media provides different opportunities to grow. One needs understand which media will work for their business.
Creating a network of communications can further your proposals. People collaborating with your company help in adding new dimensions which might have been previously missed, because the discussion is not limited to only those who have direct knowledge of the topic. A flexible environment need to be created which is neither too rigid for brainstorming, nor too lose to create chaos.
Planning a strategy can guide towards profitable social media collaborations which can highlight your motive behind doing them. Overall, giving back to the community makes people believe in you and creates a trust among them.
Soon, people can team up and act as a driving force in societal change by putting forth their vision across MNC titans and governmental agencies.