How to Start
Once you’ve defined both your overall strategy, your purpose and your voice, it’s time to get tactical.
Target Your Conversations
Finding a place for your conversations requires that you first locate where those you want to communicate with currently are. Start by searching the top 10 Social Media networks outlined in the first post in this series and look for likely audiences. If you are B2B, LinkedIn is a great place to start for example. Get a lay of the land within each community you are considering. Notice the segments, the conversations, where your competitors are and where they are not.
Define Your Voice
Decide which conversational voice you will adopt (See Define Your Voice). Once you’ve decided on which ‘personality’ best represents your company, this makes it easier to find the person who will actually be writing the Social Media content. Try and match the content provider’s personality with your chosen voice.
Nobody jumps on the Social Media freeway going 120 MPH immediately. It takes time to get up to that speed. Use the ramp up period to refine your message, learn what gets read, what triggers other conversations. You may in fact have no choice but to start slow. Few new bloggers are recognized as overnight visionaries.
You may find that 3-6 months into it you are still not seeing the kinds of results you were expecting. Be patient and whatever you do, stay the course. Watch your subscription rates as they slowly rise. You’ll typically see a lift each time you post. But watch the unsubscribe rates as well, particularly after posts. If they spike, review your content and make sure it is still relevant to your audience.
Remember That Most Readers Are Laying on the Sand. You may go months without a single comment to your incredibly well articulated posts. Just remember most readers will never post a comment. Instead make sure you post comments regularly on other blogs. Use your voice to respond to everything. Get heard, get noticed via comments. It will help drive traffic back to your posts. Readers will start to recognize you.
Acknowledge the Quick Wins
Someone read your post about an upcoming webinar and sent it to a colleague, which resulted in 2 new registrations. Make sure you document these quick wins and announce them to the team. These quick wins, as small as they may be, continue the momentum and lets everyone know their efforts are paying off – even if it’s one registration at a time.
Recognize that we are all Pioneers
Marketing’s embrace of Social Media is still in its infancy, despite all the hoopla. Things will change, new communities will be born or reshaped or go extinct. Just when you’ve got it all figured out, the rules will change (think SEO). Be agile, be patient, embrace change and commit to staying the course.
Part 1-Social Media: An Executive Primer
Part 2-Define Your Strategy
Part 3-Define Your Purpose
Part 4-Define Your Voice
Part 5-Audience Relationships
Part 6-How to Start
Part 7-Measuring Success
Part 8-Social Media Do’s and Don’ts
Visit my brand new website and learn more about Social Media Marketing Best Practices
-Demand Generation/Marketing Automation Consultant, Astadia
-Eloqua Certified Marketing Best Practices Consultant