Looking back on 2009, was your company innovative in terms of online networking, or more of a social novice? If last year was your time to learn more about social media, then 2010 provides an opportunity to put your new-found expertise to the test.
As the new year begins, apply what you’ve learned towards planning the implementation of your social media strategy. Innovative networking tools are in the forefront of an ongoing revolution in how we share information, and you need to factor them into your company’s communications plan. To remain competitive with other forward-thinking companies in your industry, it’s crucial to start strategizing with social media now.
Here are three key concepts to guide your company’s social media planning:
- Today, customers and key audiences are able to connect directly online with the organizations and institutions they value most. Case studies show customers respond positively to the personal connection available through social networks, as well as the rich interactive experience online platforms provide.
- Because of this positive response, it’s important to include personal elements in your company’s social networks. When setting up your company Twitter account, include a 2-3 sentence company bio, along with the name of who will maintain the account, and upload a customized background. On Facebook, share photos of company events or outings to give customers a glimpse behind your office walls.
- Obviously, communication is key. Once you’ve set up your corporate Twitter and Facebook accounts, set goals for yourself. Start with 3-4 tweets per day and at least one Facebook update a week. Share company updates with your followers, and useful or interesting articles on key industry topics. Your followers will appreciate receiving updates about your products and services, and the value you bring to their personal learning network.
- In addition to sending frequent updates, make it a point to initiate or contribute to conversations. Use Twitter and Facebook to resolve customer complaints, product issues, etc., and contribute your opinions to conversations relating to industry issues. Sharing your knowledge and opinions will not only broaden your follower base, but establish your industry expertise as well.
- As seen in 2009, the big question for anyone building a social media campaign is how to quantify your company’s return on investment. As social media platforms have evolved, so have the tools used to track their statistics over time. Regarding Twitter, tools such as HootSuite or bit.ly can provide statistics useful for demonstrating your company’s social media success. Aside from mentions and retweets, these tools provide information for tweets with links, including Total Clicks, Referring Sites and Conversations to monitor engagement.
- In terms of Facebook, monitoring for comments is generally the best way to track your success – comments initiate conversation with you and other fans, increasing engagement and building interaction. Page Administrators can also view Insights to view Fans Over Time, Interactions and Quality of Posts.
After contemplating these three “pillars” of social media deployment, would you consider your company a social media expert, or does your social media plan need work? If the latter, how will you implement these ideas in 2010?