Monthly Archives: July 2011
There are a lot of people who think they are ‘doing’ social media by setting themselves up on Twitter and Facebook, adding a few contacts and sharing a few posts, then losing heart because they don’t feel that they are getting anything back.
I would say it takes a good couple of months to grow your network organically and start to build relationships with those people on your network through carefully thought out messages.
Social networking is much like face-to-face networking. It is hard at the start because you don’t know anyone and it all feels a bit uncomfortable, but once you have been a few times you start to build up a network of contacts, who then become customers/suppliers/clients, and your net widens with each visit.
The same principles apply to social or on-line networking. Twitter and Facebook are merely tools that need to be used properly to build up a good quality, reliable network of people that are easy to communicate with and, once trust is built, become customers.
It is all about relationship building. There is no quick fix but with a little time and patience your contacts on Twitter and Facebook could become your most valuable resources.
From the many conversations I have about social media one thing is apparent, that it still seems like a scary other world to most people.
This is a shame because using it for business is a great way of getting information and messages out and engaging with customers and other businesses.
Social media is just another medium in which to spread your message and also, in the opposition to more traditional forms of marketing, engage in conversation with your audience.
However, it is important that all ‘posts’, ‘tweets’ and/or ‘status updates’ must reflect and reinforce the organisations brand. This is why I would recommend that any brand that is thinking of dipping its toe into the world of social media marketing, or already has a presence there, seriously considers putting in place some kind of strategy or hiring a social media agency.
Yes, it is widely thought that the best thing to do to get started is get set-up and start posting/tweeting/following but if you aren’t following the right people or putting out the right messages you could, potentially, be damaging your brand’s reputation.
Google+ (also known as Google plus and Google circles) is Google’s most recent offering to the social media market.
It is currently only available to those who have an invitation (mostly social media geeks) as a field test. It, apparently, has lots of bugs at the moment that the developers are constantly working on to iron out before it goes ‘live’.
From what we can tell it is similar to Facebook but allows the user to create ‘circles’ of friends so that certain updates only go to certain people you are connected with. E.g. you could have a ‘friends’ circle, a ‘family’ circle and a ‘work colleagues’ circle. I can see this being a popular function as it allows more censoring when doing status updates – so as not to offend Auntie Jean! It also has the ability to jump into an instant online video chat room with selected contacts.
As with all new social media platforms Google+’s success will not happen overnight and will be totally reliant on people signing up to it – any social network is only as good as its users.
I can see that this time Google may have created a platform that has functionality that individuals will find user friendly and more socially advanced than Facebook.
Currently it does not strike as a platform that will work particularly well for business, although time will tell, and I do not think it is in any danger of knocking Twitter off of its perch.
So, in conclusion, one to watch but not to worry about jumping on board with just yet.
Some very good related articles:
- Melanie on Why you need a Content Strategy to make Social Media work
- Keith Osborn on Why you need a Content Strategy to make Social Media work
- Why you need a Content Strategy to make Social Media work - Social Monkey on Social Media Workshops
- Social Networking - Why Face-to-Face is still important on Norfolk Tweetup
- Melanie on Norfolk Tweetup