How to get Started in Social Media

Are you considering using some form of social media like internet forums, blogs, micro blogging, podcasts, or social networking?  If the answer is YES, which it should be, then this post will give you the foundation for the first step in entering in the social media era.

The first step is critical and will have a big impact on the success of your marketing programs and revenue generation.

Step one is to understand how social media will support your company’s strategy and goals.  First of all, if you are in B2B versus B2C one must understand there are some differences in areas such as who the actual end user is, who does the purchasing and what are the customers preferred sales channels.  These differences will have an impact not only on the selection of which social media, but the mix with other marketing programs and how the social media selections will be executed. Other considerations are knowing if are your customers are “online” and how they do research about products and services.

With  your company’s strategy and goals in hand, then you have to determine which marketing programs will be utilized and how they will be executed to support the strategies and goals with one exception, you now have to consider how to integrate social media into the overall portfolio.

An example of the using social media might be if one wants to increase awareness and you have online customers, then blogging is a good social media to support this goal. Another example for the B2B environment might be that if you have a specific product that is focused on a narrow market segment, then using LinkedIn or Twitter within these groups is a good way to understand what these groups are thinking about your product or service and at the same time making them aware of your product or service differentiation.

There is a large selection of social media to pick from that range from SEO to aggregation to management, so your first step is to understand your strategy and goals and how social media will support your plan of attack.  One last comment, good marketing always depends on having good information about your customers, your competitors and your markets.  Therefore, regardless of your selection of which social media(s) you go with, start monitoring your customers on what they are saying and collecting this information to be used in your marketing game plan.

 

RHL 11/16/10

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