by Jimmy Marks
Many companies worry about their involvement with social media (or lack thereof). We've talked about social media before, but we've never really given a list of "getting started" instructions. Hopefully, this will help your business get its feet wet.
STEP 1: Sign up, Get going
No more of this "will we, won't we?" business. Get moving! Start turning out those blog posts, recording messages from the CEO to upload to YouTube, twittering, facebooking, emailing...whatever fits your member's tastes. Don't know what members are interested in? Hit them with a quick survey to sharpen your focus.
More importantly, make this new communication channel someone's job. Make them track results and feedback. Stay on top of it.
Best Practice - Set a bar and meet it. What do you WANT out of Social Media? Before you get going with anything, read this from thefinancialbrand.com about ROI and social media.
STEP 2: Learn to Share
If you are running a blog or sending out a monthly email newsletter, you can make individual stories or pages shareable via the major social networks. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and most other networks provide links that, when set up properly, allow readers to share your content via their own account. Most blogging services provide a widget for sharing this information around. If you are a DigitalMailer ARB user, we can get you set up with the proper links and icons for sharing.
You've probably seen buttons such as these before. When readers/members/users click these buttons, they're sharing your content and information with other people. Encourage them!
Best Practice - Worried you don't have enough followers after a week? Don't. Building out this new way of talking to members and customers can take time. Read the CU Soapbox article "Follow-and-Friend Freeze Out" to give yourself and your organization a realistic idea of a "healthy" follower count.
STEP 3: Refine and Realign
Don't get comfy, social media trends and usage are changing day to day. Know which methods and messages are working and which aren't. Keep an eye on your stats and your referrals and make note of which method/network is giving you the best response.
Best Practice - Don't just talk, listen. If you have followers or friends eager to speak with you, address them and meet the need. You'll find that you can help users and members in a way that's simple, light and smart. You may also pick up new members and customers as a result.
Some final food for thought: