I work with companies to help them gain online visibility and increase qualified leads. The tool to get there is social media, but organizations can not just jump into social media without some upfront work. The upfront work is really traditional marketing. I take clients through a process I call the triple jump – hop, skip jump.
Step 1 – Know who you are.
Step 2 – Define the communication or campaign objective.
Step 3 – Define your communication plan.
Here is a presentation (http://www.slideshare.net/SteveG7262/before-social-media) which is an overview of the full delivery process. Let me emphasize three points as you look to incorporate social media into your marketing plans:
1) Clearly understand who you are, the markets you serve, the behavior of your customer, and the REAL value you deliver.
2) Actively engage – do not just use social media to push content. Create a two-way communication with your customers – listen and respond to them.
3) Don’t bite off more than you can chew – be selective in the social medias tools you start and make sure you and your organization have the bandwidth to stay active in the communities and networks you start.
And finally one last note … have fun. If you are passionate about what your company sells or delivers, social media is a great playground as it helps to attract the right community for you.