ID Connections

Social media marketing – is it right for you?

Published by Julia Salerno, March 29, 2011.

"In the digital world there are no degrees of separation between you and your customers. Everyone is connected. It's time to connect your business to everyone."   - Mitch Joel, Six Pixels of Separation
Let's face it, the way we communicate with one another is changing. With an array of online social media tools at our fingertips-including Facebook, twitter, and LinkedIN-staying in touch, marketing your business, and networking has never been easier.

Social media describes the online technologies and practices that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with one another. While there is no clear right or wrong way of navigating your way through social media, following these tips can help you to better understand if social media is right for you or your business.

1. Clearly define the platform(s) you want to use. Whether you choose a blog, LinkedIN, twitter, or all of them, you should have a clear understanding of their capabilities and why you feel it's the right one for you.

2. Make a plan. Before you sign up for a dozen social media sites, you need to know how frequent/infrequent you will post, who in your organization will post, and what type of content you will post. It's important to not overlook the amount of time it takes to effectively use social media, so don't forget to figure out where the content will come from.

3. Create your page or profile and update it. It's often not enough to simply have a presence on social media. If you choose to be there, update your profile often and try to generate engaging content that could spark dialogue. One way to lose credit online is by spamming your followers. Try to take a more conversation approach with your posts.

4. Follow those who you know and those who you want to know. The point of using social media to network and market your business is to create new associations and groups with like-minded individuals. Just as in the "real" world, you never know who can help you and when, so create a loyal following.

5. Monitor your sites and respond to comments and/or requests. Just as you would respond to an email or voice message, it's important to return the dialogue on social media sites. The idea is to create another forum to share ideas. And besides, nobody likes to talk to themselves.

This information was created by IDC's social media team and presented at a conference for association executives in February. Like IDC on Facebook and follow us on twitter @IDCanadatweets.

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