It’s one thing to open your mouth and begin speaking. It’s another to wait until you have something interesting to say. This is a good way to approach blogging as well. I’d been considering the best use of the blogosphere for quite a while, and finally made the leap once I felt I had something worth talking about. There’s a lot of pressure for businesses to take advantage of the new social media tools, but like most things in life, and everything in business, it’s always best to begin with a plan. Choosing among the online tools can be much like walking into a Starbucks. You’re faced with an exhausting selection of seemingly similar items served up in an unrecognizable language. Before grabbing that java chip frappuccino grande, you’ll want to ask yourself some important questions.
1) What are my goals for launching a blog, a Twitter account or a Facebook page? Whether you’re creating a brand identity, launching a new product, promoting an event or building word-of-mouth recommendations among your customers, your goals will determine much of your content and design. Remember though, social media is not the place for a traditional marketing approach, so use the opportunity to engage with your customers rather than hard-sell products and services.
2) Is this the best way to reach my customers and clientele? Do your research and figure out where your customers are already gathering online. Listen to their conversations. Participate. Rather than creating your own sites and asking people to come to you, you may find it’s more efficient to simply engage on existing sites where they are already gathering.
3) Is this something I can realistically maintain? To keep people engaged, you must be able to keep your site current and relevant. Determine well in advance who is going to contribute and maintain your site, as well as plan out the content for several months if possible.
4 Comments on “A few good words”
what a great site. I sm looking into starting my own business. This is really useful information.
Great post, Susan! In all the hype about social media, I think some forget that these are simply new tools for marketing. Granted, they are tools that have unique potential for fostering or enhancing relationships with certain target audiences. But the three questions you raise are spot-on! And I would add a fourth: “How does social media fit in my overall integrated marketing plan?”
Blogs used to be automated system logs created from the constant chatter that computers and operating systems created. Somewhere in the process, console operators started to write little notes that summarized some of the flurry of events. As the frequency of contact with the log increased due to more available media and instant access, the logs became less important that what the operators though about the logs. In the context that you are talking about, what business information does one need to inform the commentary? How do you set up the business signaling to stimulate the console operator to notice the right things instead of the chatter that comes from a device that doesn’t actually have an expert operational mode? Social networking is and example of a chatter generator without an expert mode. How do business people filter that stream to know which events are actually events, and which ones should be ignored? Thanks for starting down this path.
Great work. Becoming part of my daily read! I posted your link on twitter. I of course, always keep it short…..in words!!