Creating an Effective Social Media Strategy, Part 2 - Take Time to Listen, Donít Just Jump In


Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 8:00am Tuesday 28 July 2009

The first step in putting together an effective social media strategy is to understand the dynamics of the landscape. With social media, it is more important than ever to listen to what is being said before participating. What are people saying, how is it being said and where are they saying it?

Using a comprehensive monitoring strategy, it will help you define your online corporate brand identity and help ensure you are engaging with these new platforms effectively.

Monitor the social media platforms for discussions on both your company and the competition to determine the value of the platform and the discussion as well as to help understand what is impacting your brand. Look for the platforms that your customers, prospects and the industry influencers are using. If you find your brand or industry discussions are focused on one or two platforms, you can concentrate your efforts.

Monitoring will not just help you understand which platforms are the most important for your brand, but also the style and tone of the discussions. All social media platforms are different. While some lend themselves to a more formal tone, such as Linkedin, others are about more informal conversation and thoughts, such as Twitter. Both may be equally valuable to your overall strategy but require different approaches.

By listening to the discussions on each you will understand how to best approach the different audiences. Some may be used as a way to promote company activities and others may be more useful in interacting with your customers, uncovering potential sales opportunities and learning more about your industry. Be careful not to use the forum as a means of selling your products and services, some groups may consider this to be a form of spamming.