Social media is here to stay. Get use to it...
Are you using social media to effectively promote your product and brand? Are you following the common best practices? Do you influence your target market with social media? Are you building awareness and trust for your brand with social media? Is social media integrated into your company's day-to-day communication strategy? If you are new to the world of Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Google Buzz and LinkedIn, following these best practices can help you leverage this powerful communication channel that has finally reached critical mass.
- Define your social media strategy. What are the goals? Who is your target audience? What are the demographics? What are their interests? What keywords are relevant to your audience? What metrics will you use to define your social media campaign’s success?
- Monitor your brand on the major social media networks. Use tools like Tweetbeep and Buzzient to find mentions of your brand on social networks. Set up automated Google alerts for your brand. You actively look for reviews of your product or service on Epinions, Yelp, Google reviews, and other on-line channels.
- Set up corporate accounts with your brand on targeted social networks. Brand the UI of the account with your look and feel. Put a human face on the account. Publicize the name and title of the employee who publishes the content.
- Encourage employees to leverage social media. Make social media part of the corporate culture. Have them re-tweet content when appropriate.
- Use social network client software that is designed for marketers. For example, leverage HootSuite or Tweetdeck to manage your multiple social network accounts.
- Publish content to your social networks that is relevant and interesting to your target audience. Use tools like Trendistic to see what subjects are relevant on Twitter.
- Publish content at least two times per day to your social networks. Optimally publish content several times per day. Leverage automated publishing tools like Twitterfeed or Twitterlive.
- Use social media as a method to interact with your target audience. Ask them questions. Answer questions. Start a discussion. Provide support. Offer customer service. Establish rapport, trust, and credibility.
- Drive followers to your blog, RSS feed and other content channels. Social networking should be part of an integrated strategy.
- Carefully follow people and companies who are relevant to your brand. Determine which companies and people you want associated with your brand and image.