Seven Truths of Social Media
Check out Paul's seven key rules for making blogs and social networks work for you.
To educate small and mid-sized businesses on social media a few months ago, I laid out how SMBs can benefit from the use of social media to propel themselves forward. While there is hardly a template or formula for creating a strategy that will work for everyone, the "Seven Truths about Social Media" slideshow should help smaller organizations participate in this paradigm shift to reach out to customers.
The co-founder and chief branding officer of an online media company, Lisa Barone specializes in providing clients with online reputation management and social media services, among others. She recently shared five social community myths hurting SMBs that she has noticed in the course of her work. While hardly revolutionary, I found her blog post on small business trends to be refreshing and certainly a worthwhile read.
For the impatient, I've highlighted the five key points Barone laid out, and explained how SMBs will do well to bear these myths in mind:
- It is a role that can be given to anybody: While you don't need a PhD or know about rocket science to do social media, the job should go to someone who enjoys such activities, is sociable and at least relatively quick on his or her feet.
- If it's not online, it's not community building: The bulk of building an online community inevitably will be online, though true credibility and reach are achieved when online activities are married to hosting pertinent events in a local context.
- Social media means you should befriend everyone: In a nutshell, Barone advises against the community manager focusing his or her attention on all and sundry. Instead, she advocates reaching out to the right people. In her own words, "Find the people who influence your community, the people using your product, and the folks using your competitors' products."
- A good community will help you overcome your flaws: If your products or service don't cut it, there is nothing that building a community will do to help. In fact, it would be a bad move to count on social media to resolve fundamental problems with products or services.
- Just hire a community manager to materialize a community: Companies late in the social media game might be tempted to "buy" into a community by investing in an employee to manage various accounts on social-networking sites. However, just as a company is never about how good its receptionist is, a truly "social" company will have to modify its way of doing business to truly embrace and benefit from social media.
Have you attempted to build an online community or taken up social media yet? What are the challenges, and how successful are you at implementing it? I would certainly love to hear more from you.