10 ways to make social networks work for your business in 2010by
Michael Deutch outlines his 10 tips for getting more business value out of social networking activities this year. How many are your organisation undertaking?
10. Map out your social media strategy for 2010. First, set your 2010 social media goals. Then map out the projects that you’ll need to undertake to achieve your goals. Throughout this process, you will need to start listening to determine which online communities are most important to your business. Your observations will help guide your decisions on how to engage each community most effectively. Also, identify the tools to measure your progress along the way. Creating a visual map of your social media strategy will help you make sense of the bigger picture and all of the opportunities ahead.
9. Create synergy to amplify your marketing messages. Social media participants are getting savvier by the second. Treat consumers with respect and add value to the communities that you play in. When you add value, your messages will be shared. Take stock of how relevant communities are interconnected, and build your strategy to amplify communication and marketing efforts. As you contribute content and participate in conversations, link all the disparate sites together to optimize your results. Social media expert Brian Solis provides a big-picture view of the different types of online conversations to consider in his Conversation Prism. Find and focus your efforts on the communities that matter to your targets. Then, you can build your own Social Media Map to define where and how you will engage your customers.
8. Build your brand using location-based social networks. In 2010, expect to see location-based social networks take off, as more customers access the mobile web through their smartphones. This will present a major opportunity for retailers to make their mark on the 'local' social web to promote and engage conversations about their brands online. Smart businesses will get on the band wagon first with innovative promotions which will not only capture the attention of community members but also the media. How can you use these sites to entice customers to try your products and services? Cool location-based rating and social networks taking off in the UK and Europe include Gowalla, BrightKite, Rummble, foursquare, mobiLuck and Dopplr.
7. Look for ways to make the most of emerging enterprise CRM systems. Expect to see more software vendors integrating their software with social networking sites – starting with a lot of chatter around Salesforce.com’s highly anticipated Salesforce Chatter in early 2010. These integrations will help you listen, learn and respond with ease and integrate social media more tightly with your existing processes. While it’s still early days, it’s worth taking a serious look at new solutions as they become available to see what will fit for your business.
3. Tie your brand to a social cause. Take a page from Seth Godin, who is launching his latest book, Linchpin, by distributing advance review copies to the first 3.000 people who make a donation to the Acumen Fund, a charity using entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of global charity. Seth created a win-win-win situation. Eager evangelists get early copies and blog about his book, the charity received over $100,000 within a few days, and Seth will create a buzz-storm about his book before it even hits the stores! Capitalise on novel ways to create synergy and positive buzz.
Michael Deutch is chief evangelist at Mindjet.
Neil Davey is the managing editor of MyCustomer. An experienced business journalist and editor, Neil has worked on a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites over the past 20 years, including Internet Works, CXO magazine and Business Management. He joined MyCustomer in 2007.