In “The Best Practices In Social Media Marketing Writing Project”, my good friend, Mitch Joel examines the issue of best practices in Social Media Marketing. His best practice recommendation? Consistency.
Consistency. Be consistent. In everything that you do. (The article link above will take you to Mitch’s specifics.)
Mitch is collecting best-practice ideas from folks in the industry. He happened to tag me.
So here’s my take on what companies involved in Social Media Marketing should be considering.
In the recent past, companies have been using multi-channel social media – primarily blogs and podcasts – as a way to market. What they typically haven’t figured out is how to use these channels effectively. At FutureNow, we hesitate to call these best practices, because, for each company, tactics will differ depending on the business itself; and the appropriate tactics will change over time as audiences shift and tools/websites evolve. So what critical guiding principles should companies pay attention to when employing social media?
1. Disclosure, also called transparency, is probably the most important principle that should inform your outreach through social media. Give it to your audience straight. Let them know the upside. And the downside (it happens). If you don’t, they’ll figure it out through other sources, which will leave them thinking less, not more, of you.
2. Understand the relationship you are building with your audience. Social media is, well, social. In social situations, the nature of the relationship defines how two people interact with each other. Deliver your message accordingly, for communication is always about the message received and perceived. Good communication is also about listening.
3. Identify and communicate your values. These are part of your identity, and in social media, communicating your identity is part of the exchange.
I totally agree with Mitch: Consistency is important! But you can only be consistent once you’ve adopted the necessary level of disclosure, understood the relationship and defined your values.