Friday, June 27, 2008

Can You Solve Social Media?

Do not count on this guy coming up with the answer (he's got a lot on his plate) but will you or your company have a solution? Social media is changing the way we communicate with consumers. You will not find out the answer by getting an MBA, trust me on that one, or by reading the latest blogs and news. Hopefully the following will help because I have experience helping businesses with social media and perhaps my advice will shed some light.

Create, Don't Wait

Every second you are waiting for someone to tell you how to use social media to your advantage, you are missing the opportunity. Now I am not saying to dive in heads first without checking how deep the water is, what I am saying is that nobody has a successful generic template they can give you. Therefore as marketers or business leaders you must begin to test which social media avenues work for your brand or company and record those results. Some will work and some will not. But which ones thrive will depend on you.

Finding a Successful Social Media Avenue

The most important factor to accomplishing a social media campaign is to be interactive. You can do this in all avenues but it is more important than you think. Traditionally advertising has been targeted at large segments. This results with consumers feeling undistinguished and unexceptional as part of a large group. With social media you can actually target a single person making them feel valued. A one on one dialogue is central to this campaign and it is not as hard as it sounds. Do this well and you will turn your average consumer to a full out evangelist.

Responding to Crisis

You are bound to make mistakes because you probably have never done this before. Your consumers will at times criticize you and complain. What do you do then? Responding to a mistake or complaint quickly and efficiently will show your consumers you really value them. Just recall your last phone call to your cable company, nothing was solved and it just made you angrier. Do not let this happen, no matter what. Going through this process you will have to make promises you have never made before and follow through with them. Then these consumers will love you and tell all their friends about how a big company did so much just for one person. Get started by assembling your team of social media specialists.

These factors are not all you need but they are important ones. Let me know what other major factors I should have covered or what I missed.

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