Seven Truths of Social Media
Check out Paul's seven key rules for making blogs and social networks work for you.
Amidst the excessive jargon-slinging by Internet marketers and "gurus" out to make a quick buck off of social media, it is no wonder that small and mid-sized companies are thoroughly confused about how they can successfully leverage social media to transform their bottom line.
What is heartening is that SMBs are certainly not taking a back seat despite their uncertainty. According to a report by the Small Business Success Index (SBSI), the social media adoption rate has doubled to 24 percent over the past year. As I noted in a recent blog entry, however, many businesses dabbling in social media in that time frame could well be doing so out of desperation rather than with a properly formulated strategy.
Before SMBs can successfully make use of social media, they first have to understand key facets of this new platform.
The Rewards Are Real
A technology marketer friend in a large microprocessor company pointed out a very interesting fact to me a while back: An astounding 10 percent of the links that he posts on Twitter get clicked on. Well, I just checked and saw that he now has more than 13,000 followers on Twitter-I'm sure you can work out the math for that quickly enough. What's more, this is on one social media platform only, and does not factor in retweets, which could well double or triple the number of clicks at the end of the day.
With no hard limit to most social networking sites on the number of followers or fans, the potential for growth is theoretically limitless, as well as accumulative.
Get Onboard Early
Now that you are thinking about social media, I must point out that it is actually crucial to get involved in social networking as early as possible. One simple reason for getting onto social networking sites early is to secure the appropriate vanity names for the main social networking sites.
I made sure that I managed to get hold of my name for the top social networking sites around.
As you can imagine, it just makes sense to do the same for your company's brand or key products.
Of course, social media isn't simply about setting up an account and hoping that people will automatically or magically join or follow you. By now, you surely have seen businesses that hopped onto the social media bandwagon only to mindlessly tweet or update their Facebook accounts on irrelevant news or uninspiring product releases to a dwindling or dormant audience. (The active users have already left.)
Clearly, some kind of planning and strategy is necessary to define the objective -- and methods with which to achieve it.
Truth be told, the devil is very much in the details of putting together the right social media approach for your company. There is no set template or formula, but the correct approach depends very much on the products and services sold by your company, as well as your objectives.
If you have questions pertaining to this area, I'll see if I can answer them, or get a response from someone who can.