Strategize Before Taking the Social Media Plunge

By Renee Revetta | Aug 11, 2009
More Articles by Renee

I’ve been submersed in social media for about five years now, unknowing that my addiction to Facebook and connecting with friends on LinkedIn would lead to a career down the road. Some decisions pay off. One of my best friends from high school basically forced me to join Facebook before we parted ways for college. I grew to love it, but at first wasn’t sure why I needed to “friend” people that I’d known for years just to prove our friendship.

More social media platforms are created every day, and the terms ‘Twitter’ and ‘Facebook’ have spread throughout our culture. The recent outage of Twitter and Facebook even made the local newspaper.

But before you jump in to social media, make sure you have a plan. There are so many reasons to make the leap, but you need to determine your reason for joining. In a recent Seth Godin blog post, he discussed the importance of taking time to build a strategy before spending time on tactics. Just as with any other public relations or marketing campaign, a strategy must be outlined to make your time worthwhile. Listen to your community first, then plan out your strategy and tactics and join in on the conversation.

If you’re at a corporation that’s considering social media, you have a few things to think about. Social Media Consultant Jason Baer in a July Marketing Profs webinar stated you should choose your focus: create awareness, increase sales or build loyalty for your brand. Once that overarching decision is made, every tactic will fall into place much more easily.

If you’re a recent college grad looking for a job, this advice can apply to you as well. Professionals are using all the same social media sites as you. Take heed and be smart about what you post.

Whether you create a personal or professional account, your posts or tweets should be helpful as Chris Brogan suggested in a Summer Social Marketing Profs webinar. Most people using social networking and social media are truly there to form relationships and learn. With social media, being helpful can make a huge impact for a company or individual.

Social media may seem like it’s second nature to us “Gen Y” folks, but it certainly requires thought. Go ahead, get your feet wet, but take some time strategizing before you make the leap.

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