Savvy Speaks: Social Media Best Practices

Savvy Speaks: Social Media Best Practices
Savvy Sisters - Wed Jun 15, 2011 @ 12:43AM
Comments: 8

Social media is here to stay - but how do you make sense out of all the available platforms? Each has its own lingo, rules and followers, making it hard to understand which ones might be right for your business. The Savvy Sisters give some guidelines:

Wendy Thomas


Stick with it

You don't have to be on every platform. I've seen so many companies join everything out there and then give up on them because they don't have the time or resources to maintain an image. Do what you can with what you have. 

Also, for the ones to which you do commit, bone up on protocol. Nothing and I mean nothing makes you look more like a n00b than acting like one. 



Find Out Where Prospects and Customers Congregate

Don't bother diving into any social-media channels until you understand where your prospects and customers spend time. After all, if the idea is to join the online conversation, you want to make sure you're engaged with the right people.

To get there, you need to first understand the pressing issues that are top of mind for your target audience. So start by developing buyer personas.

Then use "listening tools" like Google Alerts, Google Blog Search, Twitter Search, and Social Mention to get a sense of where relevant discussions are taking place.

Once you've got that figured out, you can pinpoint the social-media channels that make the most sense for your organization.



Strategy. Strategy. Strategy.

First, you get familiar with the platforms - not like PhD-familiar, but enough that you get a good grasp of the lingo and the landscape. There are enough free E-books out there to keep you plenty informed.

Second, you take a look at what your competition is doing in these spaces. Where are they hanging out, what are they using each platform for (publication, promotion, conversation)? You can get a quick sense of what's working for them by paying attention to where they spend their effort.

Third, you get really clear about your social media goals and then you bang those up against what you've learned about the platforms and your competition to see which types of social media make the most sense. From there you can develop a strategy that addresses both creative and tactical concerns.

That's a seriously in-a-nutshell version, but you get the gist. If you go into social media half-cocked, you're probably not going to see a great ROI. But, go in with a strong plan and the sky's the limit.



Don't fake it

Social media is not the same thing as getting a free mailing list. If you see Social Media as a free marketing platform - and nothing else - the people who live there will sniff you out and block you / unfriend you / report you and generally make you a pariah in their community.

Only join social networking sites that are relevant and natural for your organization. When you get there, understand that your goal is to become a valued member of the community. Embrace the culture, jump in and start sharing, communicating and being REAL - all within the terms of what that particlaur community values.



You Get What You Give

Social media is like any other networking exercise.  You have to go into it saying "what can I contribute" rather than "what can I get".  If your social media strategy either personally or as a company is just about spamming / spraying your message outward then it will not be effective.  However if you use social media as a way to listen to your customers, market and then respond in a helpful way you have the ability to effect your personal and professional brand in a positive way.

I did a post last year that was an excellent example of this in my own relationship with my cell phone provide Sprint.  Check it out here.


What are your best practices for social media?

Share them here!

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