Getting Started on Social Media in your company? Try this First!
So you consider yourself as a student of the game and someone who is always staying on top of the latest trends and technologies that can improve your operation. You have been reading up on the Social Media Phenomenon and have seen enough substance to buy into it. You are ready to start your Journey of adding Social Media on the list of things you do. You are not alone in this reasoning, it is a fair assessment to say that enterprises of today feel the same way that you do as they too attempt to leverage Social Media to connect with customers. The challenge now becomes, how to do it? where to begin? what is the first step? ...We will try to decipher this inevitable dilemma and offer up some advise via this 3 step.
The first step is to LISTEN. As simple as that sounds, it becomes much more difficult to plan for when you consider what to listen for and how you establish a framework to do so... Once you have a proper listening plan in place, you will learn about what is being said, who is saying it and where is it being said. This is critical to assess the viability of the Social Medium as it relates to your reality as a player in this space. The results from this listening stage will provide you with ample examples of how going Social will help transform the customer interaction experience. When it comes to this stage, your investment is purely as time investment as there are several free tools out that that can help you do the rest. Nonetheless, the time invested should never be considered as Free... there is a cost that comes with that... Here are 3 tools we’d recommend to use to Listen: SocialMention.com is quite simple and I like that it has capabilities to dive into the measures of sentiment which is a critical piece of the Social Interaction. Search.twitter.com is a great for keyword driven searches and can be added to your RSS feeds engine and Lastly, Google alerts which allows you to setup queries and get the results emailed to you. Pretty neat!
The second step is to ANALYZE the findings... let’s face it, not all companies have products and services that are appealing to the medium. A retail company will have a very different attraction to Social Media than a Cement company so it is key to decipher how relevant this space can be for your enterprise. This exercise can help you answer (at a high level of course) what is being said, who is saying it and where are they saying it. These are the basis for identifying the next steps on your journey. You will also see the relevance and value that different platforms offer. Each of the big platforms (FB, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Blogs) attract different audiences so the relevance will certainly shift individually.
The third step will be one to ENGAGE when necessary. Why do I say that? because one of the key questions you will have in your social reasoning will be “When do I jump into a conversation?” Remember that on Social Media, consumers are mostly talking to each other, not to you; so if you decide to jump in, remember that this is not necessarily being sought after. How would you feel if there was a couple of people standing next to you at the line at the bank and they were talking about something you are interested in or had information about... Would you jump into their conversation? So, recognizing when you should engage is a key piece of the puzzle for getting started and the one advise I would give is not to be afraid to do so... Once a consumer gets over the shock that you were actually listening, they are accepting and happy for the fact that you reached out.
Once you get through those 3 steps of Phase I in your Social Media journey, the path ahead will present itself and most importantly, your actions will now be guided by what matters most, your customers and their voice!
If you have any comments or suggestions on this topic, would love to hear your feedback.