Your Role in the Social Media Movement

By Amanda Sides | Jun 15, 2009
More Articles by Amanda

Unless you have literally been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the growing trend that is social media. True, networks such as Facebook have been around for years now, but the trend of late has been for businesses to start taking part in the movement. Where does your business stand on this issue? Many companies are hesitant because there is sometimes no direct correlation to ROI.

Social media avenues are growing at such a rapid rate… should you be taking advantage of it? You should if you do it correctly. If you are going to go the social media route, you need to make sure you are well prepared. Make sure you use it in the proper ways for your business. Here are some things to think about.

First, listen, then sell. Social media users are having tons of conversations about brands and services, mediocrity will diminish. Listen to what social community is saying; then worry about your selling approach. If you aren’t listening, you could be wasting your time.

Your strategy on Facebook or Twitter will be different than that of any traditional advertising you are currently doing. You will be listening to and interacting with potential consumers needs, not just periodically throwing copy at them.

Set goals. Social media is a tricky thing to master. By setting goals that are appropriate for your business, you can move on to executing your social media strategy. So what are some social media goals? First and foremost, figure out who your target audience is compiled of. You can start by acquiring friends, getting retweeted, or even keeping track of comments directed to your brand. Some companies may be better suited to use Twitter for advertising promotions, sales, new products, and coupons, while others could be more of an extension of their customer service offerings.

Here are examples of two different Twitter account strategies (as discussed in the Twitter Experiments: Getting Beyond the Now What?” webinar by Marketing Experiments (Follow them on Twitter @MktgExperiments).

@DellOutlet: This account for Dell focuses on giving their 630,000+ followers information and updates regarding refurbished Dell products. If you visit their account profile, you will notice they only follow 23 or so other accounts… they are made up of other Dell brands and services. This gives a quick reference to who their followers may also want to follow. One other thing to note is that they have a clear, easy to distinguish picture. When their tweet comes up in your feed, you know exactly who it is.

@HomeDepot: This Home Depot account is focused on being an extension of their customer service offerings. This way you can direct questions and comments to the Corporate Communications representative, Sarah, so you can be better prepared when you make your way to the store. Sarah interacts with the Home Depot followers, not just listens. She offers help where she can, and does a great job representing Home Depot.

Both of these businesses have a completely different strategy when it comes to their Twitter accounts, but both are almost flawlessly executed. If you are well prepared, keep your goals in check, and realize that social media channels will always be changing, you will be in good shape. Good luck!

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