Social Media Strategy: Working within your Client’s Culture
Posted by jodee14
I was at a conference on Thursday and was fortunate enough to hear Scott Jameson, Marketing Director for Realityworks, speak on the company’s social media strategy. The interesting part of this particular strategy is that it only loosely involves social media.
In chapter seven of Digital Literacy, Rachel Spilka delves into the intricacies of cross-cultural communications: namely the different social sensitivities across continents. This is a very important and nuanced topic. While I am not comparing this lofty topic to the development of Realityworks’ social media plan, they certainly do have some similarities. Not only does every country have a culture, but every region also. Even every little town and suburb have their own mojo. Why wouldn’t we think that every company and client isn’t just as dynamically unique – even if it is true only in the minutia? But there are times when that minutia changes how a region, town, or client base functions at a base level. This is where we, as communicators, need to be in the know.
If you are not familiar, Realityworks is best known for their baby simulation doll. Schools all over the nation and world are purchasing these life-like dolls and their accompanying software to aid in teaching high schoolers, in a very memorable fashion, what types of life-changes can occur post-baby. Really doesn’t this type of unique and interesting product make for the perfect marriage with social media? So what is the problem? Where is the culture issue? Well, if you didn’t pick it up yet, you are missing the point – just like I did. Mr. Jameson explained how while listening to their clients they learned that most schools block access to social media sites. (And crash goes the social media strategy.) This is a culture issue that is critical for Realityworks to be aware of: It changes how their clients’ function and deeply effects how they browse online.
Mr. Jameson explained that Realityworks does still maintain active presences on most social media sites. He explained that they aid in building public awareness and media interest. However, the purchasers of their product needed more. After some focus group sessions it was learned the clients were begging for information. More information. Detailed information. They had questions like: “How do other schools do xyz?” and “Are grants available for such purchases?” Mr. Jameson felt the perfect solution was a Realityworks’ forum that allows users to talk about their purchases and the programs they build around them. This solution allows for:
- all potential buyers to be able to access information, even while they are in the school building itself
- social-media-style sharing of information
- users to share details about how they manage the programs
- users to share their opinions and related stories
- potential buyers to see others’ experiences
For Realityworks a forum serves them and their clients better than any Facebook page or Pinterest post ever could. (Of course the forum really is a type of social media, but one I have not personally considered previously.) The important thing here is that Mr. Jameson really listened to his clients, learned their culture, and adjusted the company’s social media strategy to best serve them.
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