Karl Havard from Propellernet just wrote a really great article called “Top ten tips for brand engagement via social media“. You can really tell that Karl has a very polished understanding of social media. I think it would be smart for everyone to go read Karl’s article. However, I am going to highlight a few of my favorite parts.
Before Karl got to his list of tips he laid out 5 common themes from his research. One stuck with me.
Less innovative and early adoptive brands see getting involved with social media as “high risk” to the business. I would argue that the risk of not getting involved is much higher.
I think this point is extremely true. I have worked as an Internet marketer for real estate companies, and I can’t even count how many times I answered questions from brokers and agents about possible liabilities of social media. In fact the topic actually came up in the comments sections of an older post I wrote.
Observe and Monitor – Listen to the conversations look for sentiment, authority and reach, and set up tools (there are loads out there) to regularly update you on these conversations.
I think this should be the starting place for most companies that want to get into the social media world. Companies need to be aware of the conversations that are happening around them. And yes there are lots of social media monitoring tools available. Remember being aware is the first step to engaging.
Be Social – Don’t always be about “YOU”. People will quickly become bored if you’re always talking about your brand, product or service. Take an interest in the people you want to engage with and offer something they can use in their social life….it is social media after all!
What? You think companies should actually be social in social media? Yes, he does and so do I. This seems like one of the most missed points with companies that engage social media. You need to have real conversations with real people to distinguish your self from the social media spammers. A good example of this is Pandora’s Twitter presence.
Forget ROI – This will be a tough one!! Measuring the return from the investment in social media is probably impossible today. (Coca Cola has recognised this.)
There are certain metrics which can be monitored such as increase in unique visitors to your site (via social media AND search), increase in brand “buzz”, ultimately increase in sales (if you’re a commerce business). But don’t expect to be able to calculate the Y return from your X investment in social media alone. It can’t be done.
I would love to tell some of my clients that! I think he’s right that calculating social media ROI can be pretty difficult. But let’s not forget about the Dell example we talked about yesterday.
Karl, if you are reading this, feel free to chime in the comments and share some more words of wisdom!
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