[Companies large and small are rushing to understand and get involved in social media. Many of our clients have been intimidated with the entire social-media scene, so the following are three things you need to know about social media:
1. Your entire company must work as a team
This includes management, sales, marketing, customer service and everyone else that may add value. A successful social-media program takes input from all employees and encourages them to contribute to the online conversation. You must designate a social-media leader and be sure your plan is properly integrated into your company’s overall marketing plan.
2. Management must be behind the plan
It’s critical that your top management embrace your social-media plan. Listening and responding quickly to what your customers are saying about you in the social-media space can provide great intelligence and allow your company to better interact with customers and prospects. But be warned: Along with this customer interaction must come the willingness to change based on this feedback. And this is why top management must be on board.
3. It takes time
You must view social media as part of your overall marketing strategy and long-term goals. You must work to engage your customers so they can become evangelists for your brand. This takes time, so if you start a social-media program, be prepared to continue it for the long term.
So how do you start?
Start with a small number of manageable goals for the coming year. These could include:
– Turning your company newsletter into a blog and encouraging all employees to participate.
– Establishing a social-media policy for employee participation while on company time.
– Setting up alerts that monitor your company in the social-media space and responding within 24 hours to any issues.
If you’re just starting out, don’t try to do all of these at once. Start with the strategies that you can realistically handle on a consistent basis. If you need any additional insight or would like to see a copy of our internal social-media policy, don’t hesitate to drop us a line.