Social Media Strategy

Our presenters for the session on “How to Craft a Powerful, Cost-Effective Social Media Strategy” are Sally Falkow from Expansion Plus and Brian Solis from Future Works PR. This is a standing-room-only session.

I had seen this quote before, but apparently it came from Jay Rosen: “We are the people formerly known as the audience.”

Social Media Marketing is the use of the social tools to interact with people, but it is not about technology. It is sociology. It’s about being able to create content and interact with people.

Why participate in social media? It’s where the people are, and conversations take place with or without us. Companies used to talk about being customer centered, but social media tools have the power to make that customer centricity a reality.

Who owns the conversation? No one. It’s everyone’s responsibility. It requires a champion to engage internally. Everyone in a company is involved in PR. The PR function is ideally suited to lead in this area because of the nature of our training, but you do need to get other functions like web and marketing together. It does need to be a cross-disciplinary project.

Where do we start? It begins with observing and listening. Who are the people who can benefit from what you’re offering and why? What are the tools and services they use to communicate with each other? In a focus group you change the discussion just by being in the room. In social media you can get the straight information without filtering.

How do we listen? It starts with having an idea of who your customers are and where they go for information. Examples might be ma.gnolia, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Digg, LinkedIn,, Google alerts, Google Blog Search, TweetScan, Technorati, MySpace, Friendfeed, Ning, Yahoo! Groups. Search for key words related to your products and company, and also to your competitors. Pay attention to the culture of each community.

What resources are required to participate? How much does it cost? Here is a formula: Number of average conversations per day per community x quantity of relevant communities/ 20 minutes required to reesearch and respond and also monitor for additional responses

How do we participate? Understand the culture and dynamics of every culture in which you wish to participate. Observe tone and content. Identify ways to deliver value. Participate as a person and not a marketer.

She used the example of yesterday’s reception; if someone walked in, stood on a table and started shouting, people would not respond favorably. Why would boorish behavior in online communities be any better?

Sally showed a Forrester graph that breaks down internet users into segments.

Creators: 13 percent – publish or maintain a blog or upload video to YouTube

Critics: 19 percent – comment on blogs and post reviews

Collectors: 15 percent – use RSS, Tag web pages

Joiners: 19 percent – use social networking sites

Spectators: 33 percent – Read blogs, watch peer-generated video, listen to podcasts

Inactives: 52 percent – don’t do any of these.

What’s the value vs. ROI? What’s the value of your real-world friends? How do you determine the ROI of your relationships? How do you measure whether relationships are mutually beneficial? Why are customer service managers still trying to reduce the time and costs it takes to help people? Are we missing opportunities to create and enthusiastic and active surrogate sales force because we don’t have the answers? Measure as you go. Find what works for you and those to whom you answer.

Check out this Pontiac fan site.

Great session.

Author: Lee Aase

Husband of one, father of six, grandfather of 15. Chancellor Emeritus, SMUG. Emeritus staff of Mayo Clinic. Founder of HELPcare and Administrator for HELPcare Clinic.

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