If you’re like me, when you first started hearing about social media (web 2.0) you probably thought it was just a passing fad or something that you didn’t need to deal with. Well, the fact is that it is by far the fastest growing media right now — (I know, most of you bloggers out there already know this, but hey –give me a little slack here–I’m catching on very quickly).
I want to give a little plug for an amazing book I’m reading called “The Groundswell” by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff. For anyone who is serious about understanding the business implications and the correct way to approach the Web 2.0 opportunity, this book is a MUST READ.
For those of you who rather not read it, but just want the topline, here goes:
1. Know your objectives before you DO ANTHING. That’s right. Don’t just set up a website, Twitter, Blog, etc. without clear objectives of what you want to accomplish. Why? Because you can waste big bucks and time executing the wrong tactics.
2. Research your customers/prospects and their “social media behavior”. According to Messgrs Li and Bernoff, you need to identify and dissect the different groups of people and adjust your strategies accordingly. For example, there are 6 categories that make up their Social Technographic profile: Creators- who publish content, Critics -who react to online content, Collectors –who tag and organize content, Joiners –who maintain Facebook pages, Spectators- who consume what the rest produce, and Inactives -they go online but they are not into social media.
3. Find an agency partner who has a proven track record in producing successful and measurable campaigns and that can grow with you as your communities take off. Also make sure they begin with your objectives in mind and a clear understanding of what constitutes a successful campaign.
4. Make sure upper management is involved. Whatever progams you implement will be a major change on how your organization communicates with your customers. Implemented correctly, it can reap big rewards. A wrong turn, can be devastating.