Social Media: Three Steps Towards Making it Work for You

In the spirit of Rich Moran’s “business bullet books”, here are three steps towards making social media work for you.

Step 1: Getting Onboard

Pick what services should you be on.

Choose Your Platform, Carefully: Depending on your audience, do you need to be on social networks, discussion forums (e.g. Google Groups or boards.ie), or something else entirely?

Spread Too Thin? Don’t waste time on a platform if your customers just aren’t there.

The Social Network Choices:

  • Twitter: What’s happening? Info streams.
  • Facebook: Everyone’s here, eek!
  • LinkedIn: The business network.
  • MySpace: Only if you’re selling music…
  • Bebo: Nearly kaput, even for 13 year olds.
  • Google+: Too early to define; no business pages, yet.

Decide exactly who you are.

Create Your Identity: Try and get a common brand that you can use across one or more platforms of your choice.

Pick Your “Forever” Username: Have a consistent username for your Twitter account or Facebook page.

Promoting Your Identity: Make sure you tell people about your social media identity where appropriate, e.g. in your e-mail signatures, on your website, in presentations.

Step 2: Joining In

Be part of the conversation.

Respond To Others, Meaningfully! There’s no point being a standalone broadcaster on social websites. You must engage with others, not just via your own channels.

Choose Who You Are Talking To: If you want to be a person of influence using social media, then the way to do it is to acquire engaged followers who are themselves active on the service.

Tell the world about your company, your services.

Use An Integrated Strategy: View this great video from Deanna Lee (Marketing VP at the New York Public Library) about how social media is just one part of your communications strategy.

Marketing Your Brand: If you don’t already have a sufficient community of interest around your company that you can leverage into an online community instantaneously, you may want to think about using targeted advertising, if available on your platform of choice.

Step 3: Keeping Up

Stay up to date with your interests and competitors.

Monitor Keywords: Set up searches for your own brand in TweetDeck, but also for keywords mentioning your competitors and your topics of interest. Make sure you use variants in your searches so you don’t miss out on anything, e.g. “NUI Galway” OR nuig OR nuigalway.

Think about what’s coming around the corner.

The Semantic What? The next generation of the Web, encompassing the notion of “Linked Data” whereby it’s not just pages that are linked on the Web, but rather data with an associated meaning.

The World Is Going Hyperlocal: You may need to think about a web where one’s geolocation is strongly tied to their activities online: Facebook Places (now integrated with status updates), Foursquare, Layar, and more.

I will be speaking on these and other topics at the first Irish Executives Summit in Galway next week.

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4 thoughts on “Social Media: Three Steps Towards Making it Work for You

  1. Wouldn’t it be interesting to get Marshall McLuhan’s take (and puns) on The Semantic What?  Maybe the “meaning is the message” or the “meaning is the mess age”

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  2. Thank you, John, for this excellent post !Getting onboard the right Social Networks is not as easy as it seems. As you stated, each has its own role.Most people end up using a few of them, connect to their professional network on LinkedIn, friends and family on Facebook and interesting people on Twitter ! A lot of content is generated by all those connections and people end up being fed with low quality information all day long : infobesity is around the corner !And this is exactly why Semantic Technologies/Linked Data are so important. The Social Graph has proven to be really powerful. But with these technologies, we can go beyond and build the graph of interests. It allows users to get meaningful, rich informations and computers to process those data to fuel a whole new field of applications.And providing highly targeted content to users results in improved engagement.

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  3. thanks john ! it was a complete procedure for making my site adds on these social networking sites,now i will able to see myself on facebook and tweeter globally 

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