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A Marketer’s Guide to Social Media – 8 Keys to Success

I participated in an amazing social media webinar today from MENG. The expert roundtable included members of the newly formed MENG Social Media Council (Mack Collier, Paul Dunay, Beth Harte, Drew McLellan, Amber Naslund and myself).

Here are eight key social media points from the session:

  1. Start with a clear strategy, just like any other marketing initiative. Social media is both a concept and a set of tools. Before you can begin using the tools, you need to set clear goals and objectives as to what you hope to accomplish.
  2. Social media does not sit outside your traditional marketing efforts. It must be integrated into your entire marketing process.
  3. Yes, social media can help you increase your sales, but your goals may be different from just revenue goals.  Look at human resources goals (recruiting), customer service (call center savings), lower training costs, lower conversion costs, reputation goals and more.  Thinking sales growth is always the bright, shiny object, but other goals may be more attainable.
  4. Understand where you belong in social media in your market. Is your role to observe (listen), to engage with customers, to develop conversations and relationships with customers?
  5. Educate yourself. Read books such as Groundswell, The Digital Handshake or Get Content Get Customers. Start experimenting personally.
  6. Look at companies that are doing it well, like Cisco, Intel, Breaking Point, IBM and SAP.
  7. Focusing on the key social media sites (i.e., Twitter and Facebook) may not be the best strategy for your brand.  Find out where your customers are hanging out at, and develop strategies for those channels (niche blogs, industry forum sites, Google groups, etc.) that deliver on your overall goals.
  8. The core of your social media strategy must be your content strategy.  What is your brand’s story? What are the stories that are happening in and around your brand that will make you interesting to your customers and prospects? Why would anyone share your content through social media if you don’t have anything valuable or relevant to say?

Also introduced during the session was this extremely helpful social media guide from Download the PDF version here. This is an excellent primer to review once your social media strategy is in place.

Social Media Landscape