The Esscence of Social Media for Business

This morning I hosted an online Social Media Forum for my employer. Speakers from Google, Edelman, and industry leaders across the company in Real Estate, Finance and Legal were featured. Here is the gist of what was covered:

Choose a Path
To follow the technology or to follow the trend, that is the question. Our experts say that the most important aspect of social media is getting the biggest “bang for your buck” therefore you need to follow the people rather then the technology. Sorry, Foursquare…see you when you have 10 million users!

Be Accessible and Diligent
As illustrated in the image above the consumer’s expectations have changed. No longer do we expect to have to search out knowledge or knowledgeable people. It used to be that customer’s who had a negative experience with a company or product would first contact the customer service line, then write a letter of complaint and THEN use social media to express their frustration. Now it is often the case that customers will turn to social media first! This means that if a company is not diligent in their social media presence a negative user-driven conversation can quickly spread online.

Choose your Battleground
There are so many outlets in the world of social media and subsequently users often face a deluge of information from a myriad of sources. It is important to create a portal through which your customer can easily navigate all of your offerings online. This may be your website, a YouTube Channel, Facebook Fanpage, or Twitter Feed. You can absolutely have a presence in multiple areas of the social media experience but to get the greatest ROI it is best to focus you efforts in one location and use the other mediums to link back to your “portal.”

The Old Rules Still Apply!
Yes, the social media is relatively new to the business world but not new enough for there to already be a slew of laws already on the books regarding the sharing of information. The SEC AND FCC have many rules about what businesses can and can not share online. Just because you are online does not mean the old rules do not apply!

Know the New Rules Too!
In December 2009 the FTC issued new rules which boil down to this:

  1. Disclose when you are being compensated–whether you are being paid for the endorsement and/or have been give free sample of the product (traditionally known as “not-for-resale” copies).
  2. Be truthful in your statements…and make sure they can be substantiated.
  3. Speak from actual experience–meaning you can’t just regurgitate the sponsor’s marketing speak if it isn’t an actual experience, opinion, or belief of your own.

This information comes from the article New FTC Rules for Social Media! by Go-To-Market Strategies.

Keep Learning
There are so many great resources out there and with-in your company and community as well. As the old adage says, “Why re-invent the wheel?” Reach out to your colleagues, employees and industry leaders to get ideas and inspiration.

As always, I hope this was helpful and I will respond to any questions in the comments area!

One Comment

  1. Posted May 30, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    My partner and I liked the very content rich write-up you had to share.

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