Image courtesy: panicfreepublicspeaking.com.au
Especially if you are in Cochin you will look at the builder’s history, his track record, maybe speak to a couple of the company’s customers, a few experts… social media for corporates is a long-term investment. It’s an investment in relationship-building. And you have to treat it just as carefully as you would a special relationship, maybe even extra carefully because this is one of your most visible relationships. It’s like being on reality TV 24/7.
Are you going to use social media for lead generation? Or for strengthening existing customer relationships? Or troubleshooting? Maybe you just want to create a buzz. Or perhaps you have loftier ideals… you want to be a thought leader in your space. Or maybe even all of the above? Whatever your goal, define it… otherwise you won’t know how to get there and worse, you won’t even know if you have arrived! This is a simple thing of course, perhaps even a management mantra but we so easily tend to overlook the obvious when it comes to social media.
And here’s a tip: start small if you are unsure. It’s way better than starting with a bang and then fizzling out.
It’d be ideal to put a person in-charge of your social media platform, either in-house or a consultant, because it takes time, effort and coordination to get it right.
See, there’s no magic to social media. Ultimately it boils down to keeping people happy. It’s just that we often forget that there are people associated with those icons we see on screen.
Two quick tips here: content on the Internet is rarely ever truly deleted. Even if you delete a comment it might turn up in a weekly email digest that the social media service sends out or may be present in some archive.
Secondly, always ensure that comments appear on blogs only after moderation. This helps prevent spam, abuse and other little irritations.
Last week, I was invited by the Rotary Cochin Knights to speak on social media for business. Putting up my speech here; it’s practically a transcript, so do excuse colloquial usage and the like.
It’s good to be on this platform talking to you about something I am passionate about. When I set up DropCap with social media outreach as part of our portfolio of services, I was happy with the initial reaction I got from friends, family and existing clients. But then came the barrage of questions: Are you sure about this social media thing? Is it sustainable? How will you do it? How will you track it?
My answer was simple: You can run from social media but you can’t hide from it. Sure you can choose to ignore it, you can refuse to be part of it but you know what… your clients, your channel partners, your critics, your competition, they are all on it. And if you are out of the picture, you have no control or awareness about what is being said about your brand online or how your company is being perceived in one of its most visible branding avenues.
And when we say big, we are talking big, waiting to explode…. Facebook crossed the 500-million user mark in June, of which more than 8 million are from India. Then there’s the micro-blogging platform, Twitter, where India ranks no. 2 after Japan in Asia, with 6.48 million users. And these are numbers that are growing by leaps and bounds.
So what do you do if you are a company or a startup and want to do social media? You want some part of those numbers, right, all translating into sales figures, right? People say getting on social media is easy; you don’t need an expert for the job. Sure, it’s easy; it’s as easy as signing up on FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Digg, Tumblr or wherever. But what do you do next?
It’s not being on social media that’s important; it’s actually being a presence there. What matters is what you actually do out there. And if you don’t have a plan for this, you will be like the guy dressed in an Armani suit at a rock concert. Sure, he can afford it but does he feel like a fish out of water!
So let’s talk a bit about how companies can do social media:
I guess you must have got some ideas about the whole process now. I would encourage each of you to look at social media as an enhancing experience rather than just as a frivolous outing.