1 Good Reason – Social Marketing

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The Low Hanging Fruit- How to Get Started in Social Media

February 3rd, 2010 · 1 Comment

BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front) Start your social media program by listening first.  This will teach you where your customers are, and how to engage them in social media.  And you learn valuable insights into your competition which will demonstrate clear ROI for management buy in.

Should we start our social media effort with a Facebook page or a Twitter account?  Are the customers on MySpace or iVillage? Who is going to be allowed to do social media in the company?

If you’re asking these questions then the my answer to you for all of the above is simple, NO.  You and anyone thinking about how to start social media need to start with listening.  Because it has a much higher ROI (Return On Investment) for you than anything else SM has to offer you, just yet.

What do you listen for?  You begin by listening to your customers, and your competitors customers.  You listen to learn what your customers think, and what they are complaining about.  And you listen to your competitors customers are talking about, complaining about and happy about. 

In reality Social Media is a 24/7, always on, real time focus group for you to monitor and learn from.  It contains valuable insights into your competition and customer’s minds.

Listen for a about 6 months before you think about jumping into the social media pool.  Put together a team of people who’s job it is to monitor the social media chatter.  Make sure your assumptions about customer wants and needs are correct. 

One of the early benefits of the social media listening program is that it will give you some additional insights into your competitors.  Look for info about competitors and their clients and report this to management.  This will demonstrate a quick ROI for senior management to ensure their continued support of your efforts.

Suppress the urge to jump in and start talking.  Because we will all make mistakes in the beginning.  But if you deploy a  listening campaign your social media team will learn what these mistakes are from others demonstrating them for you, long before you have the chance to put your foot into your own mouth.

After you’ve listened for several months you’ll find out several things.  There is little conversation about your products and services on this network, but that one seems to be the hot bed of activity.  You won’t have to ask the question, which networks should we be on?  Because you’ll know which ones matter having listened to them all for a while.

And most importantly you’ll learn a few things about your competition that you didn’t know before.  These will be valuable insights that help to fill in a few blank spots in the picture of what you know they are doing.  This will be all the better when you learn that your competitor isn’t involved in social media so you’ve got a leg up on them.

Now having listened to social media for 6 months you’ll know exactly where to to begin. You’ll what people are talking about and where you need to focus your effort.  You’ll know what confusion there is in the marketplace, and where you need to focus your efforts.

So give me 1 good reason why you don’t start your social media listening program tomorrow?

Image credit: from pipiwildhead on Flickr

Posted via email from ckieff’s posterous

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