Since the New Year brings new beginnings, perhaps you are thinking about ramping up a new social media program this year. Not sure where to start? Mashable has compiled a list of more than 150 social media resources for businesses, along with a plethora of tips and advice from social media representatives at various organizations.
A few key takeaways:
• “Social media is like the largest cocktail party in the world.” Social media monitoring is important. People are out there talking about your products and your company, with or without your input, or message points. If you’re not paying attention, you don’t know what they’re saying.
By listening, you can discover potentially negative perceptions about your brand, positive feedback from customers, and questions about how to use a product, and more. Use this information to address issues before they escalate into a larger problem. Positive feedback can be incorporated into client testimonials, brand advocacy and give you valuable insight into those emotional connections your customers have with you.
From “6 Essential Steps for Executing Your Social Media Strategy”:
• Keep track of who is posting. Identify who will be responsible for being the “voice” of your company or organization’s social media channels and outline guidelines for what type of content to post, how often, and how to comment.
Having too many voices can create confusion, but it doesn’t have to. Having a plan is especially important when you’re posting on multiple channels, like Twitter, Facebook and a company blog. Without it, potential inconsistencies can lead to misinformation and mixed perceptions – many voices can work, as long as they are all speaking your language.
• Target followers to reach people who would be interested in your products or services.
• Take your time and listen, feel comfortable with what you want to say and don’t try to jump in all at once.
Be strategic about who you’re following; consider how you can both benefit from the relationship. For example, retweet items that you think would be informative or helpful to your community.
Implementing a social media program is a dynamic process. Make sure you periodically review your program and make changes to improve it. But the main thing to keep in mind is to just start – once you have a clear strategy and have developed a plan, of course – and always keep learning and listening. Yes, the volume of data can be overwhelming. But once you get a grasp on what is being said about your brand, you can make more informed decisions to support marketing and business objectives.
Even in this digital age, you will always need a human mind behind it to make sense of it all and ensure it benefits your organization. It will pay off.