Idea Checklists: How Companies Can Utilize the Power of Social Media

Success factors for a company jumping on the social media train

Starting your trek within the massive and fast growing social media platforms (Examples: Twitter, Facebook) can seem rather daunting. Outside of good ol' business planning and strategy development, there are some checklists you should consider. This post is intended to get your team thinking about the possibilities. Resources to consider Internally: Subject matter experts, social media champions, community managers and editors. Externally: Contributors, detractors, advocates, clients, prospects, prominent bloggers. Keys to success of an active community Reward your internal and external audience by providing: Exclusive content: For example, expert video interviews Contests/prizes: For example, submit ideas, get votes and win a cash prize Fun/experience: For example, send an audio greeting Visibility: For example, advertise top community contributors Make the employees the stars of the show: for example, identify their passions/expertise, let them share and customers will relate to them. Other benefits: Visibility/recognition motivates productivity Increases employee advocacy and retention Attracts top new talent to the workforce   Important Focal Points in Social Media Marketing Learn: work with a subject matter expert, watch trends, see what the world is searching for, identify the best practices in your industry and then organize internal workshops. Listen: monitor online reputation (Google Alerts), keep your finger on the pulse of the blogosphere; Google Blog Search, Technorati, Facebook and Wikipedia for example. Participate: create company pages on major social media sites, consider local opportunities, utilize employee/champions. Engage: start where it makes sense, blogs, social networks, customer reviews - and be honest and transparent, drive recruitment, engage and reward. Measure: develop realistic targets, traffic, member bases, activity overall, RSS subscribers - use Google Analytics to track. While the above are important bullets and considerations, a 'system' or 'process' needs to in place for any business using social media. You can download more information about social media marketing systems to understand better how to glue it all together.

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