Do you remember as a child standing on the top of the high dive pondering whether or not to jump? Then, when you finally did, it was amazing and you wanted to do it again? Well, social media (SoMe) isn’t quite like that but it is worth the jump.
Many people criticize social media – whether it be for professional or personal use. When it comes to implementing a social media plan for business, the standard objections are based on time involved, perceived lack of ROI and the potential for negative PR. But honestly, if you aren’t using social media yet, how do you know if these objections are true? There is a saying that “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Let’s try doing that with social media.
Don’t be intimated by it. Embrace it. It’s happening whether you like it or not. It’s the way of the future and honestly, it’s a very effective way to increase brand awareness, listen to your customers and learn. You also need patience. It doesn’t happen overnight and you won’t always be able to see immediate results. If you don’t have a social media presence, go online and see what your peers/competitors are doing. How are they using it? What would you do differently? I would also look outside your industry to get ideas. SoMe is a dynamic medium that is constantly evolving so you can be creative and “course correct” when you find that something isn’t working.
To get started, select a few channels. You don’t have to take on every social media channel – in fact, I highly recommend against it. Focus on a few and observe how your customers are engaging. When do they engage – morning, noon, weekends, etc. What are they talking about? Create a plan and outline what you want to promote but leave room for flexibility to “talk” to your community about what interests them. Remember – it’s a conversation – not an advertisement.
We use Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/#!/INTERPHEX), Twitter(@INTERPHEX), YouTube, LinkedIn and the Blog you are reading for INTERPHEX. Each channel offers different platforms and tones to promote our brand. We are constantly trying new things and making adjustments as necessary. Social Media plays a key role in our event marketing strategy where we are seeing results through small and big wins. More of the small, but wins nonetheless.
I was one of those people who didn’t want to climb the diving board – I wasn’t even near the pool. Now, you can’t keep me off of it. The higher the jump, the better! You may not be ready to jump, but at least get your feet wet. You’ll be glad you did.
Still have questions? Reservations? Let’s talk about it.
Barbara McAuliffe is the Marketing Director for INTERPHEX. Follow her on Twitter @INTERPHEX_Barb or contact by email at firstname.lastname@example.org