It’s time to, because your competition is there for sure. You can be sure it’s a culture-altering project, not just for your company, but for the entire global marketplace, that requires you to pay lots of attention, but comes with significant rewards if you do. Here are some pointers to starting you on your way:
1-Choose one platform to start with and get to know it well. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are all functional for different purposes. 74% of tech companies report having Twitter accounts, LinkedIn at 72 percent and Facebook at 20 percent. (Wildfire, 2011)
2-Take stock of your content. You need to say something before you begin, retweeting is good, but what do you have that’s original, and even more important, what people are looking for? (Read my next blog on why trending topics and keywords matter.) Do you have a hidden “subject matter expert” gem somewhere that’s willing to become an elite blogger for your company? Or maybe it’s just your presence as a line “reporter” at industry shows, but it’s your insight that counts.
3-Be in it to run the marathon, not the sprint. Long-term results come after months of stick-with-it engagement. An article I read last week by techeye.net discussed a recent study, citing that 43 percent of tech brands with a registered account have never bothered to reply to a tweet, while 66 percent of Facebook pages received comments from users, and 75 percent didn’t even bother to reply. (Techeye, 2011)
4-Use the power of amplification for all of your posts. One application that does this is GaggleAmp, which allows your organization’s employees, friends, business partners and fans to become part of a group that helps you push out your news, to all their networks. It’s like those few snowflakes that drop from the winter sky and become a full blown blizzard. Your messages will multiply.
5-Be prepared to commit resources to your social media efforts. Social media is not free. It requires strategy, management and monitoring and that requires head count or at a minimum, if you outsource it, you will still need an insider as your point person. Enlist an executive champion to help you evangelize your cause and that will make acquiring resources and gaining support much easier.