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miss_train.jpgBy B.L. Ochman
In 2009, it’s clear that resistance is futile. Corporations can no longer avoid social media.
Millions of people are creating content in social media. Your competitors are already there. Your customers have been there for a long time.
How do you start? Forget baby steps and dipping your toe into new media. The train has left the station.
Getting started
Before you begin, consider that:
o Social media isn’t one thing – it’s a set of tools.
o Social media is not a quick fix – the results come in the long term, the same way they do with PR. In fact, social media campaigns, like PR, often start producing their best results in the third year.
o Social media is not free. It costs money to create an effective social media campaign.
o You need to drive traffic to a blog, a forum, a community, a social network. That requires time, effort and money
o You have something to say that may be of interest beyond the CEO’s office or the marketing department
Lurking is Good
o Before you join the conversation, lurk. Monitor what’s being said about your company in social media — even on weekends.
o Once you have the lay of the land, join the conversation
o Tread gently
o Remember: we’re all humans. People are what matters, not companies.
Don’t be afraid to fail. Be ready to apologize. Admit when you’ve made a mistake.
Just because it’s always been done that way doesn’t mean that’s how it should always be done.
The alternative?
The alternative is to fall behind to rivals that are willing to take chances with interactive marketing.
What does social media marketing cost? I wrote this post in Oct. 2007, and it holds true:
“Everybody’s talking about how great social media is for marketing, but nobody’s talking about what it costs,” cry the CMOs. Verily they said: “Tell us the bottom line.”
OK, let’s tear down the wall – let’s talk about money.
The budget for an effective social media marketing campaign begins at $50K for a two to three-month period. I’m sure companies have spent less, and I know they’ve spent more.
I have created effective campaigns with as little as $50K, and even better ones with budgets of $500K for three months. :>)
You can measure results through a variety of metrics, including referral drill downs in your site stats; mentions on blogs and in media; comments on the content; real-time blog advertising results, and clickthroughs to your company website.
Here’s some additional reading from a variety of expert sources:
Social Media Storm Spreads as Motrin Ad Angers Moms
My Social Media Secret – How I Keep Up With it All
Nine Great Reasons Your Company Should Blog
10 Reasons Your Company Should Not Blog
Does Your Company Have a Social Media Participation Policy? IBM & Sun Do Rules of Engagement for Blogging
– Mashable: Top 10 Reputation Management Tools Worth Paying For
– Techcrunch: Top 10 Social Media Sites of 2008
– Interactive Insights Group: Superlist of What NOT to Do in Social Media
Seth Godin: A Year’s Worth of Popular Posts
Chris Brogan: A Sample Social Media Toolkit
Hugh Macleod: the social marker- the “social object” on steroids
ImageNew Zealand Railways Magazine
Copyright BL Ochman all rights reserved