Engaging with social media

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So after reading this headline, you are probably thinking – “Well, I guess this will be yet another list of the” ‘Top Five (or Ten) Ways to Get Involved With Social Media.’” But you are wrong.

The fact is that, yes, you can get that information from lots of media agencies, including AOE. But all the “lists” in the world won’t make a difference to your marketing plan, if you don’t do what the headline says – “Engaging With Social Media.” So, let’s see what we mean by “Engaging With Social Media.”

Engaging – Or communicating. Or interacting. Or sharing. Or any other word that means a continuing dialog with a community. So often, companies will be diligent about posting information on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Blogs - but they forget to follow up and keep the conversation going. The replies you receive to your posts can provide important information about how your customers feel about your products, industry trends, and market situations – but you won’t know this if you are not engaging on a daily basis with your followers. Select an employee who has good communication skills to keep up with social postings. This person should refer questions and interesting comments to the appropriate personnel in your company. Use this information to help with developing new products and services, and you’ll probably find a few new customers, too!

Social – This refers to how people in groups behave and interact. It’s how your organization behaves and interacts with your social media outlets. It is crucial, therefore, to have a solid social marketing strategy that reflects how you want to reach your customers and is integrated with your other marketing initiatives. Whether you have a presence on only one social media site or are involved in several, it is crucial to make sure that your content truly reflects your company’s standards and beliefs. Any company personnel that engage (there’s that word again!) with your social media sites, should know what is acceptable to post in accordance with your company values. It’s easy to get “caught” up in a dialog with a customer or follower, but remember, that the conversation is about the company or product, and some discretion is prudent.

Media - This used to mean “television, newspapers, magazines, and broadcasting,” but we all know it means much more than that now. Not that these “older” media outlets are no longer viable, but the “social media” sites have now added another new way of engaging (that word again) with your audience/customers.  Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Blogs – and probably a few new ones entering the “social scene” next week – do you need to have a presence on all these sites? Of course not, but then again, you might want to be on all these sites - if it makes sense for your organization. And that’s the whole point. Don’t be pressured into thinking you have to be on a certain social media site just because it is popular and “everyone’s” there. Take the time to learn which sites your customers are using and how they use them, and find the social media sites that will offer the most response for your needs.

If you need assistance with setting up a social media program, AOE has the expertise to help you understand how to choose the sites that will help you “Engage with Social Media.” Just contact us.

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