In May, I was an online participant in the 2010 Social Media Success Summit (#smss10). Over the course of the Summit, I sat in on sessions that covered topics useful for organizations at every stage of social media use. I’ll summarize some of these in four posts that address beginners (using tools like Twitter and Facebook) and intermediate users (introducing Foursquare and Groupon), metrics, and the future of social media.
The first post focuses on tips from Guy Kawasaki’s (@GuyKawasaki) keynote presentation: “Using Twitter as a Marketing Weapon.” When considering a social media campaign, the first step is to define your goals. What are you trying to achieve? Are you trying to build brand awareness, or improve customer service? Do you want to learn more about your key influencers, and build better relationships with those influencers through engagement?
With goals established, determine which networks will best help you achieve them. Identifying two or three key social networks will make your efforts more powerful; joining too many will diminish your engagement. Successful network management allows you to follow key audience(s), monitor their conversations, and engage the thought leaders influencing the market.
From my experience, I suggest using Twitter and/or Facebook to kick off your social media campaign, as they provide the best connection to online conversations. Once you’ve gained momentum (and a following) using these platforms, start experimenting with other tools like YouTube or Foursquare.
If you’re new to Twitter, here are a few tips from Kawasaki’s presentation:
1) Find out what people are saying about your organization/brand online. Twitter Search is a great way to track the conversations in real-time. Go to search.twitter.com and enter your organization, brand, or Twitter handle to monitor what people are saying about you. Bookmark the RSS feed for your search results to monitor the feed daily without having to re-visit the site.
2) Increase your list of followers by creating tweets with useful, interesting information that include links. Studies show that updates are more likely to be retweeted when they include links. In addition, tap into resources like Alltop and Twello, and search by category (e.g., education.alltop.com) for more followers.
3) Use Advanced Search to prospect for potential leads. For example, if you’re a publisher of eBooks looking to increase your business locally, use Advanced Search to monitor conversations regarding eBooks within a pre-determined distance of your location (e.g., eBooks near:Milwaukee within:25 mi).
These are just a few ways to utilize Twitter, a microblogging tool that has become vital to many organizations’ marketing efforts. Are you using Twitter or similar tools? If so, have you found the right balance of engagement to meet your goals?