Social Media: The Sound of One Hand Clapping

It’s called “social” media for a reason. No one will take action on your messages if you don’t make them a conversation.

With a few exceptions (trade media, media placements), the press release is pretty much dead, especially on social media sites. But you still see websites keeping the “social” out of their postings. This should be a two-way communication between you and your potential customers — a discussion in which your self-promotions are generally ignored. There’s a huge difference between propaganda and engagement.

Social media strategies should always be consistent with your online marketing messages. Ask yourself: “Is this posting likely to generate a response?” and “Will it drive traffic to my website?” You’re looking to make a connection every time. The best postings are calls to action.

Social Media is not just another duty for your Web Content person. A dedicated Social Media Manager is a good start, but a successful social media strategy needs to involve people across the organization. Bringing more folks to the party increases your chances for effective interactions.

A few do’s and don’ts:

DO: Respond to social media queries quickly

DON’T: Delete negative posts (unless they violate terms of use), answer those first. I once worked for a top-level manager who insisted all negative comments be directed to his phone. It was amazing how often this level of unexpected accessibility defused complaints. People who are angry don’t generally expect a response. Surprise them.

DO: Assign a variety of staffers to take turns monitoring social media postings

DON’T: Fake “reponses” to your posts. Your audience can tell.

DO: Promote your social media pages prominently in your most persistent navigation.

DON’T: Tell your audience — always engage them

The often excellent Smart Insights site offers some more social media tips:

Creating your social media content strategy and plan


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