Tag Archives: social media strategy

Make it easy… Social Media = Conversation

I read As Social Technologies Become Pervasive, Prepare Your Company this morning and completely agree with the points in this post.

As I work with more and more companies through my business (here’s the plug), Something Creative, LLC, and answer the question “what is social media?” and work to create strategies to answer “how can I use social media?” I realize companies really are embracing this concept.

…on the other hand, some of the key decision makers in these companies are still split–half want to embrace and the other half are still in the “convince me” mindset. A great point in the article (I guess I always thought about, but never thought to use to explain to others teetering on the edge of social media acceptance) is to emphasize that social media is a conversation. It is an online conversation using new technologies and new outlets. It is doing the same thing companies are doing (or maybe not doing…oops) and taking it online to reach an audience that might not be engaging in other ways and/or prefer to be engaged through this outlet.

Conversations make sense. No lead, sale or deal can be made without some sort of conversation. No reputation can be managed without a dialogue. An online conversation can prove to be just as (or more) valuable than an in-person or phone conversation.

So the moral is to make it easy. Compare new marketing with old marketing “buzz” words to show that marketing is still messaging (well dialogue), audience and channel, but with expansions on the definition of those concepts.

Using Social Media vs. Using a Social Media Strategy

I was on a call the other day with Dan Green and he made a statement that made me laugh and then sigh. He said “you know, today everything thinks they are a social media expert.” What I thought was going to follow was a statement about how I was one of those people (this was our first interaction). Instead he continued, “…but you understand the strategy and that’s what it takes to be successful.” Over conversation shifted and we began discussing how students, marketers and even some self-proclaimed social media experts just don’t get it. They [social media expert impersonators] think you need to use all the social networks possible at one time to blast your message, need to constantly promote formally and in accordance with a corporate image, and/or to be the first to land in each space…and that is not necessarily the case.

Using social media means engaging with your target audience through thoughtful channels and sending the messages that make the most sense. To do this, you must decide which channels are going to be most effective and then use them effectively! And as I always say, you can’t just be in the space, you have to be active in the space and meaningful to be effective. This might mean that your company will not benefit from a Facebook page as much as it will from a Twitter page…so you shift your priorities and focus. Or maybe the messages you send to your Twitter audience are different than those you send through MySpace.

A question that I constantly encounter is “How can I use Facebook [or insert another social media outlet]?”. The question I would rather hear is “How can I use social media for MY business?” and that is where I can step in and know this client is looking for a strategy and not just implementing tactics without guidance.

Now don’t get me wrong. Sometimes you just have to jump into a space, test the waters and make a splash. Then you have to evaluate the splash and see where it went, how quickly it rippled and how quickly it died (if it does) then revisit and craft the strategy. What I love about social media is that it is constantly changing and maybe what worked six months ago isn’t working today and marketing efforts need to be shifted. Or maybe a new angle has come about and the company can benefit from the use of a new channel. Nothing is set in stone.

There is always…. something creative coming down the pipes and endless opportunities.