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

Critical success factors for a company jumping on the social media fast track

Starting your trek within the massive and fast growing social media platforms (Examples: Twitter, Facebook) can seem rather daunting. But, outside of good ol' business planning and strategy development, it's possible - and 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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