Posts Tagged ‘Pet Project’

I made this

Recently I have spent some time helping my father build a deck on the back of his home. During this time we had a constant “helper” in Molly, my sister’s golden retriever. My sister received Molly for her birthday 6 years ago as a dog seemed like a fun pet to have. Fast forward to today and Molly gets taken for a walk maybe once a month and gets attention from my sister even less than that.

I took a look at this situation and realized this is what is happening with social media. Much like my sister enjoyed the idea of having a dog, the work involved in truly caring for the dog was too much for her. I think we can all think of a few companies whose pet project of social media seemed like a good idea but the idea of keeping up with the sites (or even monitoring their own Facebook page) is just too much for what they wanted. I have mentioned HTC – North America and their Facebook page before as a great example of this omission.

Why is it so difficult for some companies to really take on the responsibilities that social media brings? I believe one of the biggest problems (this is what has happened with Molly as well) is laziness. This also includes the lack of time management but I am lumping that in to laziness. Social media truly does not sleep and most companies are not used to having a dialog with its consumers. Social media is a 24/7 channel. That does not mean that the Social Media Expert has to be monitoring all day long but your brand name can be mentioned at anytime.

I do understand that monitoring social media can be very daunting and even boring at times, especially when there are so many other things to be done in the marketing world. If you like the idea of social media but are unable to truly act on it, that is ok. Here are a few tips to get you started.

1. Focus on one site a day. Do not try to overload yourself with social media. Focus on your blog one day, the Facebook page the next and then do the same with Twitter, YouTube or any of the other sites your company uses to interact with consumers. This gives you a focus for that moment and opens you up to multi-tasking later when you feel more comfortable with the social media/work balance.

2. Take 30 min to an hour each morning. Set aside this time to write a blog post, check what happened on Facebook or Twitter. Use this alongside tip number one to increase productivity. Again once you are used to browsing and engaging on every site you will open up more possibilities for multi-tasking but remember to not let the updating of the SM sites to take over your whole day.

3. Bookmark searches. Go look at Technorati and Google Blog Search and enter your brand name into the search. Then subscribe to the RSS feed or just set up a bookmark in your browser. Check these everyday or every other day to monitor what is being said. Check Twitter Search for your brand to see what people have been saying. Also know that abbreviations appear frequently on Twitter so check a few variations of your name. There are other sites to help you along the way, like Google Alerts that can help as well. Check them out and see what you like.

4. Be interesting. You may think that no one will want to hear what you have to say, but that is the beauty of social media. There will always be someone out there that will appreciate your presence. Talk about what interests you and goes along with your brand. This is not a place to push your product… or at least not entirely. You need to actually interact with the customer.

These are just a few tips on how you can treat this pet as a real project and not just an idea. This is also a good time to plug the Social Media Consultant. Yes I have posted about why there should be no need for consultants but let’s face it, there is definitely a need. Just like advertising or event marketing there will always be a need for someone specialized in social media to assist your organization. You need to be careful about who you hire but you can find someone who will actually work hard for you and help monitor the social web while teaching you how to take over control of your social media sites.

Do not let your social media profiles go the way of Molly. Appreciate not only the idea but the execution of the campaign. Social media, integrated with traditional media, will help your company grow faster than it previously has. If you need any tips, more advice or need help running the social media itself, feel free to comment or email me and we can work something out. I can also direct you to a resource for social media experts for your area.

Let me know if you have any ideas for making social media easier to handle!

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