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My POV on social media

July 6, 2010

I am not a social media expert, and I don’t really believe many people are. There are discussions of results, conversation, and relationship building. Tweets on how to market yourself and your business, how to sell this to clients, and clients, how a free tool is actually a huge undertaking from a resources standpoint.

So after all of that, why do I feel like I need to add another “how to” blog to the overcrowded space that already exists? Because, I am just old enough to realize these are all just another set of tools/channels in an overall communications strategy to help your business.

I have talked to recent grads and they can build numbers/followers/friends like crazy, but are they really understanding how brands are being impacted? And tenured business people are making the mistake of tweeting and adding Facebook updates because they can.  I’m not sure which one is worse. So here are some things to think about.

Look at data. If your customers are there, you need to be there.

If you are seeing an increase in customers using these channels, identify what they are asking for and then be there. Years ago, people decided to send emails instead of phone calls to companies to complain, compliment, or question. They are doing the same now on Twitter and its friends. If they are there, so are the things they are saying about you.

Friends don’t let friends tweet dumb.

Guess what? If you do the above and find no traffic and your product is something that people would rather have sand in their swim trunks than read daily updates, don’t do it. It’s that easy. Save yourself the stress and be efficient and look for another channel.

Keep your communications rooted in practical and purposeful thinking.

Why are you doing this? What are you selling? Is this for customer service? Before you would spend a dime on TV, radio, outdoor, etc., ask yourself the same questions. And then level set your expectations.

Patience is a virtue.

Most of these channels take months to start seeing results. So be patient. Work your plan, be smart, and remember you can adjust on the fly.

People still buy from people.

Have fun and show personality. Don’t be the wallflower who wonders why no one asked them to the prom. And I would also caution not to go all Gaga on them either. Unless that really reflects your personal or business brand.

Ok, all, I know you have opinions. So please share your insights on these.

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