Dec 6, 2011

Looking For a Gift? Give Company Executives a Message Tree For 2012

Looking For a Gift? Give Company Executives a Message Tree For 2012
BY Peggy Nordeen


Reprinted from South Florida Business Journal

It’s the holiday season and we are all looking for special gifts for family and friends, but here’s a gift idea for your company executives: a message tree.

Most companies have a media plan, showing what media they will buy and when. Some of these media plans are even broken down by target audiences. However, many do not go the next step to include a message tree (also referred to as a social graph) that defines the messages companies want to emphasize to each target audience.

Today, with media becoming more fragmented and customers driving the conversation online, business marketers often focus more on the message delivery medium than the messaging itself or how that message varies by target audience.

While it is a good idea to make sure your messages to each of these target audiences are relevant to their needs, it is also a good idea to make sure your ad copy, tweets or posts remains consistent with what you want to communicate and are in the spirit of your brand.

Because company executives are more visible than ever before on such social networks as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and now Google+, their discussions about your company become more critical to your competitive edge.

A message tree is a tremendous communications tool. It not only guides the conversation, but it makes executive decisions about ad content and creative much more effective and consistent, adding the power of message frequency to your communications.

So, a message tree is not only a good gift idea for your executives for 2012, but it is also a gift that gives back, in terms of more effective and targeted communications for your company, throughout the year.

Another gift for your company communications plan for 2012 is Google+ Pages. Google+ Pages has been open to businesses for only a month. Both big brands, such as Ford Motor Co. and Sesame Street, and small businesses will have the opportunity to build a presence on Google+ Pages.

The story of how Google+ will impact Facebook, which has become a brand awareness-building giant in the last few years, is yet to be written. What is clear is that, one week after Google+ opened access to individuals, the site received 15 million U.S. visits and is now ranked among the top 10 most popular websites.

Another thing that is clear is that while Facebook and Google+ are rapid awareness-builders for brands, they also have been proven to often increase the number of sales leads from other media in your plan. In other words: If you drop your Facebook program for a month, the leads in your other media, such as print ads, will also decrease. So, Facebook, when mixed with print and other media, provides a powerful combination.

In these touch economic times, it is certainly worth spending extra effort to create the message tree that will drive your return on your media and advertising investment, and give your executives a way to serve the organization in all of their online interactions. It’s an important way you can give your organization a competitive edge and power-up your opportunity for success in 2012.