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Eight tips for using social media

Posted on Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Category: Social Media
Author: Meghann Theurer

If you don't use it now, you'll be using it soon. So you might as well use it effectively. Keep these tips in mind when working with social media:

1.Timing is everything. People want the most relevant information and they want it now. Be the first to get that information to your followers and you'll be seen as an industry leader.

2.Be honest. The web is rife with rumors, innuendo and flat-out lies. If you don't know, don't Tweet, repeat or ReTweet. If you make a mistake, admit it and move on. Become a source that people can trust.

3.Humanity and personality. Put the "social" in social media by letting your own unique voice come through. Let your followers see the person behind the post.

4.Ask yourself what this subject, this product, this news or this idea means to your audience. Don't just tell them why you care. Tell them why they should care.

5.Brand yourself. Every communication is one of the little building blocks from which brands are built. Be consistent and true to your brand's image and voice across all media platforms.

6.Show and tell. Take advantage of multimedia to use pictures and videos when appropriate.

7.Open a conversation. You're talking with people, not at them. Ask them for feedback, encourage them to talk to you and to each other. They'll feel like a part of your company instead of a number in your database.

8.Lead them back to your website. You can't say it all in a Tweet or a status update. Use social media to start the conversation, and lead people to your site for more in-depth information. Don't just send them to the home page. Take them by the hand and lead them directly to the relevant information.

Social media is a noisy environment. Effective use of social media means cutting through the clutter and delivering interesting, relevant information that your audience needs and wants. If you're just getting started, check out some of these major social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or FourSquare, and see what's going on in your industry, or contact us. And by all means feel free to post your questions, comments or other tips you may have. Because after all, this is a conversation.

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FourSquare just passed 2 million users and 100 million check-ins. Do you see FourSquare becoming a major social media avenue, or is it one of those fads destined to fade in six months as the novelty wears off?

Posted by Karen K
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