In social media, it is really not important what you do, but rather how you do it. Okay, I exaggerate a bit … what you do is important as you must determine where you reach your existing and potential audience best. But I find that failures in social media efforts are usually a function of how it is implemented as opposed to the social media channels selected.
More people are participating in social media channels and more companies are allocating time, resources, and budget to social media according to my unofficial survey. If you have read any of my articles in the past, you’ll know I have been extremely bullish on social media and thus I am thrilled to see data supporting strong adoption. What concerns me going forward is that many companies will continue to jump on the bandwagon without understanding HOW to use social media. DON’T SELL … ever hear me say this before. Engage in efforts and activities that focus on building relationships. It is that simple, really. With every plan and step of your social media implementation, ask yourself, is this helping to contribute to building a stronger relationship with my audience?
Here is an example … Twitter and Facebook are getting the most hype of the social media channels. Many company executives immediately say, “Oh, we need to be on Twitter and Facebook.” That is fine … I see nothing wrong with this, even if there are better, more direct channels to a company’s audience. So you set up a Twitter account and a Facebook fan page. You start posting stuff about the company or related field to what your company offers. But this is not building a relationship. Are you LISTENING? Listening to what is being said in other communities about your industry area? Listening for mentions about your company, social media identity, or competition? When you listen, are you responding – engaging in conversations – building a dialog between your company and your audience? Are your posts simply promotion, or are you enticing a conversation?
This is what I mean about “HOW” you do social media. Choose the best social media channels that dictate where your audience is, but make sure to follow the “relationship building mentality.” Once you have relationships then invite your audience to your community. In this day and age, no one comes over to someone house without having a degree of comfort. And you know what, that is no different in a social media context either.
Give it some thought and let me know what you think.
Make it happen!