Friday, June 4, 2010

Does your social media tail wag the dog?

I think it's safe to say that social media isn't going away and businesses need to incorporate it into their delivery model. As the internal "maven" of the medium, I'm seeing a shift toward more practical approaches and it makes me happy.

The general consensus is that to effectively integrate social media into an organization you first need to
1. monitor - find out where you are being talked about
2. respond - answer questions and provide customer service
3. engage - ask questions and begin conversations online
4. integrate - use social media to transport your message

That's great advice and helps businesses hold back and not jump in too quickly without a strategy that's tied to business objectives. I also love this article, Fire Your Social Media Manager, because it leads to another important point, it's not one person who needs to do the social media-ing.

What I would recommend further, and this is from experience, is that social media become part of your core. Make it part of how you develop business, respond, and provide customer service. Once you have established that social media works for your clients and you have a community, then it's time to start marketing to them through this channel.

Using social media as a marketing tactic first without an established internal competency is the tail wagging the dog. Eventually the tail gets tired and ROI diminishes.

Social media plays many roles. Yes, it's a marketing platform and has changed the way we tell our stories, but it's just as effective for customer service and growing your business. Perhaps the most successful approach is to start there.

Without a doubt, the Net Generation will walk through your door with an inherent competency in the medium. You can use this to your advantage.

What do you think?

No comments:

Post a Comment