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strategist, marketer, blogger, social and tech trend watcher, dog-lover | Follow on Twitter @socialrati

Set A Strategy Before Going Social

A colleague of mine, Carol McAvoy, has a consulting practice for professional services firms.  On her blog, she wanted to address an issue that many companies face, the pressure to jump into social media, even without a strategy.  She asked what advice I would give companies feeling the pressure.  Here are my top three suggestions for success and sanity when engaging with social media. 

1) Define your goals.  Ask yourself, why are we, as a company, engaging with social media?  “Because everyone else is doing it” is not a sound social media strategy. Before you start, determine who you are trying to reach and why as well as the results you are hope to achieve.
Make sure to staff for the effort and assume it will be long term.  Unlike an ad campaign, social media is about building relationships incrementally via quick-response interactions.

2) Market where your audience is.  Focus your efforts on building a presence on social sites where your target audience will see and can interact with your messages (MySpace or LinkedIn?). Consider starting small by connecting with your existing customer base on a single theme to keep your initial social media marketing efforts from becoming overwhelming.  Don’t forget to tell your audience where to find you by making sure all of your communications list additional ways to connect, learn and interact with your company and its people.

3) Add value to conversations by sharing expertise and taking the conversation deeper.  Particularly in a B2B context, audiences are looking for information, advice and experts that will help them be successful in their work.  Make your company a trusted resource by providing information on relevant news and events.  What’s happening this week that may affect your customer’s business?  How can you help your audience be in the know?

With these tips in mind, your company can successfully showcase its people, thinking
and capabilities while effectively connecting with customers and prospects.

What are your top tips for successfully engaging with social media?

Additional Reading
5 Tips For Stepping Into Social Media
Slow Down to Speed Up – 10 Tips for Social Business Success

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8 Comments on “Set A Strategy Before Going Social”

  1. brainwaveconsultantsinc October 18, 2011 at 9:28 pm #

    Good information that makes all the sense in the world. I’m new to social media and I can see how it can quickly become overwhelming if there is no plan in place.

    • socialrati October 19, 2011 at 11:10 pm #

      Hi Lisa – Thanks for your comment. Yes, it’s always good to have a plan. As with any marketing, it’s important to be strategic about when and how to participate.
      By the way, there are several resources to give you the lay of the land as a newcomer to social media on the Resources page of this blog. I hope you find them helpful.

      • brainwaveconsultantsinc October 20, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

        Agreed. Thanks for the info about your Resources page. I’ll check it out for sure.

      • socialrati October 20, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

        You’re welcome. Lots to share there :)

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