Put Social Media In Its Place
Why do you use Facebook or Twitter or Foursquare or LinkedIn or Q&A forums or read/write/comment on blogs? Do you have a goal in mind? And I don’t mean goals like “2,000 Twitter followers” or “1000 Facebook likes”. They are just measures. I mean do you know what are you trying to achieve by involving yourself in social media? Often it’s one of these (and I’m sure there are others):
- Brand awareness: Social media is used to inform prospective customers and partners about who you are and what you do. It helps define your brand – and keeps it in front of your target market.
- Display your expertise: Use social media to communicate your knowledge of specific topics. Over time your followers will begin to know which areas are your areas of expertise.
- Connect with customers: Use social media as a way to foster a closer relationship with customers and prospective customers by interacting with them – talking to them and listening to them.
- Building market knowledge: Participating in social media gives you an ongoing test of what others in your market are talking about.
Do you know which of these is you? No matter which one you identify with, the key is to know what you are trying to achieve. And that means having a broader marketing strategy – of which social media is one element. As an example, if part of your overall marketing strategy is to develop the perception of you as an expert in your chosen field, you might follow (and hopefully be followed by) others in your industry. You would answer relevant questions, post your thoughts, write blog posts, and share relevant news articles. Over time, others within your sphere of influence will begin to recognize your expertise. But, step back for a moment. Why is being viewed as an expert important? Because in a broader sense you have decided that being an expert is important to your success as a business. Building your reputation as an expert is the key part of your marketing strategy. Social media is one way to make this happen. So is speaking at conference or writing magazine and newspaper articles and issuing your own company newsletter. This puts your social media activities into context.
Most of us either don’t think about why we are participating in social media – or use it to help achieve our broader marketing goals. We are there because we find it fun or because we are “supposed to be there”. Often we don’t think about how our social media efforts are supposed to help us achieve our long-term goals.
So, know what YOUR social media goals are – and how they fit within your longer-term strategy. Only then will your social media efforts truly bear fruit!
~ by IDiscover Consulting Group on March 23, 2011.
Posted in Business Growth/Strategy, Competition, Customer Experience/Relationships, Marketing/Branding, Social Media
Tags: Brand, CRM, Market messaging, Marketing, Marketing communications, social media, Strategic Direction, Strategy