Sounds easy, right? Just follow three steps and you’re there! Well, it’s not quite that easy, but these three steps will help.
Listen. Reach out. Engage.
Social media provide technologies for engaging your audiences and creating a dialogue. It’s not just “media online,” but social media represent a new set of tool that open up remarkable possibilities for interaction.
There are a finite number of tools (although some would argue an infinite number of ways to use them!). The first step however, is to create a plan to move forward and that involves looking closely at the people with whom you want to have a conversation, the objectives, strategies and technologies that make the most sense and are likely to provide the most return on investment.
Regardless of the tools you choose, the steps are the same:
Listen: listen to what the social media space is saying about you, your industry, your competitors, trends and topics. Listening actively will provide insight on how to reach specific individuals as well as communicating broadly with more “mass” audiences. Listening is also great market research for new product development or product changes.
Outreach: Outreach is introducing yourself and your organization to the social media audience. Leaving comments on blogs, participating in discussions, answering questions, etc. This step is important because it adds credibility to your social media presence (there’s a person behind the effort).
Engage: Engagement involves creating a blog, maintaining an active profile on social networks and even producing a podcast or video cast. Engagement is necessary, but it is also the most time consuming.