Social Media Overview
What is the difference between social media marketing and building a social media strategy?
In many ways, the difference is a question of attitude, a question of how much a company is willing to engage with their customers and prospects. Engaging in social media means that we move from talking at our customers / our markets – trying to convince them why it would be beneficial, really cool, or cost-effective to buy and use our products – to having a conversation with them. It is a two-way give-and-take, not a one-way communication.
A social media strategy creates actionable ways of engaging your customers and prospects in real conversations. It starts with listening first, in order to understand who is saying what about your company, your products, your competitors, and your partners. It involves finding out what is being said on blogs, in groups and message boards, on Twitter and Facebook and in the many social media spaces and places. Once you understand how you (and your competitors) are perceived and what issues matter to your audience, you will have the information needed to develop a social media strategy.
In many ways, social media is like an ecosystem: an intricate web of conversations that includes who is talking, who is most influential, who is listening, and where the conversations are happening. When you understand your social media ecosystem, you are in a powerful position to create a social media marketing plan, as well as plans for your product, support, distribution and sales departments. The most effective social media strategies ultimately engage all touch points your company has with its customers, prospects, partners and employees.