It is critical to start by evaluating whether social media is right for your business. Just because a marketing tool exists it does not mean that you have to use it!
Think about where social media could fit into your business strategy. Often with new marketing techniques there is a risk of running ahead of where the business really is.
But assuming that you are excited by the possibility of using social media, here are the seven golden rules.
1. Be selective
Use the right tool(s) for your audience. If your customers are unlikely to read a Twitter feed then there is no point putting one on your website!
Adapt to the culture of social media.
The culture of social media is to have a conversation with your customers and prospects so read and respond to key blogs in your area and join in conversations on specialist forums.
3. Creating content
Create what your customers really want. Research what your customers want and use in the way of content, free tools etc and then build them into your website.
4. Make it viral
Make your content easy to send to others, whether a tool on your website or interesting Tweets on Twitter or a fun video.
5. TV and video
Stretch your advertising further. Launch TV commercials or videos online first , giving your customers the inside track by letting them see them first, before launching on YouTube etc. This extends the frequency of viewing and builds discussion.
Listen to what is being said. Monitor key blogs, social networks, RSS feeds etc and incorporate the findings into your decision-making. For example, hotels monitor the feedback from their guests on Tripadvisor.com and make changes accordingly.
A blog is for life and not just for Christmas. Write business blogs for engagement (i.e. to create a conversation). Use them to position yourself as a leader in your industry – not just for news. Have separate blogs for different areas of the business (if appropriate) and blog regularly!