According to Forrester’s 2008 Social Technographic Profile, three out of four U.S. adults use web technologies and tools to connect with other people and to share information. Adoption has grown from 56% just a year ago. (Keep in mind this survey was conducted online so this is three out of four that have access to the web.)
According to Danny Flamberg’s “Making Sense of Social Media”, (and I think he’s nailed in on the head here) the critical questions for marketers are: How do we insert ourselves credibly into these networks and conversations? What’s the optimal use of this two-way communication and distribution channel?
I reviewed Flamberg’s advice on how to seed social media into a marketing strategy and I’ve altered his steps here a bit, condensed them into what I believe to be the important 3 points.
1. FIND YOUR PEEPS
Who is your target market/audience? Find them and intersect them! Once you find them watch them and learn about them, look for patterns, do this until you understand them!
2. PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD
Social networks give brands the opportunity to expose and share their knowledge and “showcase their expertise and float trial balloons”. This is an opportunity to show the confidence you have in your brand! (Most successful entrepreneurs aren’t shy — so this shouldn’t be an issue.) Put the best product you have to offer out there!
3. DON’T BE AFRAID OF TRIAL AND ERROR
These are the early stages. It’s a chance to bounce ideas of your people, your fans, your customers, see what they like and what they don’t. Gage how they feel from their response to the content you’ve put out there. Ask them to participate and give you feedback. This is a chance for trial and error. This is a chance for your brand to learn the way to success.
Another good point that Flamberg makes is that “social media is like talk radio”. Only a small percent of listeners actually call, but everyone is listening. The point of having a network is that seeing what’s going on and watching people experiment. So remember, that even though there are active players, there is a much larger inactive passive audience watching what you do, and you need to cater to them as well — after all they are the majority. Remember, three out of four of U.S. adults (with web access) are social web-ing to share info! Let that be your information that is being shared. Follow these steps to get you or your company’s personal brand out there as part of the information that people are sharing. Everyday you aren’t taking advantage of the networks that are out there is another day of opportunity for your brand that goes un-embarked upon. Go back and see my blog from July, How to use Social Media in PR, for some good points on why it’s important that you begin to use social media for your company/client/personal brand if you haven’t already.