Creating Social Media Advocates

Social MediaAt least a few times a week I receive the same, or similar, types of questions about social media. It’s either “How blogging /Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn, etc., work for my business?”, or “I’ve tried Twitter, or tried Facebook, and it doesn’t work. Is it all just noise?”

Two very common questions that I’ve finally found the time to address….or I’m just tired of listening to myself repeating the same points, and figure just send them to a link to read themselves. In either case, I’m going to cover a these questions, and a few other common social media questions, in a 2 part series of creating social media advocates.

Part 1: Social media myths
Part 2: Creating a social media plan

In the interest of  ‘not another hype about social media’, the plan is to discuss social media myths and the reality of social media, then get into what you should tackle when developing a social media plan.  Some have heard me preach – you fail to plan you plan to fail. Same applies to social media…and most of marketing, so I’ll also cover how to build a social media plan. We’ll also look at how to measure certain social media metrics – such as measuring a Tweet, and cover a recent case study on how social media is being used today..successfully!

To sum up this series on social media – we’re calling this ‘Creating Social Media Advocates’ – simply to cover the ultimate outcome businesses desire from social media; individuals or groups promoting/supporting/defending/selling a brand.

Now most feedback I hear from clients, or individuals, is their first efforts into social media. Mostly this is covers individual efforts of blogging, trying to build relationships in their blogosphere, tweeting, setting up a Facebook page, etc. This is all an OK start, but as individuals efforts into any one business or marketing strategy, it does not scale well at all. But we’ll get into that shortly.

Now a holistic social media strategy deployed across an organization for you bigger guys out there, I’m sure you’ll find a lot of interesting discoveries, problems and challenges. But in the end, the challenge is the same for the small business vs. the organization.

Challenge: “How do you take the power of social media and harness it to turn your customers, or your supporters, into advocates and evangelists of your brand or product?”

There are different applications of social media, and we’re not talking ‘features’ of social media. How social media is applied to your business will, or may, differ than the next guy. Its not a one-size-fits-all scenario. Just as a digital marketing strategy should be tailored to an individuals or organizations objectives, so should how social media is applied to your business. I’ll get further into this as we get into the social media planning side of this series.

To begin this series, let’s start with the facts of social media by understanding some of the social media myths floating out there.

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