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Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008 at 9:43 pm

Before Consistency in Social Media Marketing

By Bryan Eisenberg
August 27th, 2008

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.

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Comments (6)

  1. Amen! Resist the temptation to be shady – be transparent, consistent and social :)

    It’s tricky with the plethora of social networks out there…but it’s good to have someone savvy on your team who can be proactive about protecting your brand in all the hot networks. If you’re well known or have a cult following (lucky brand, you!) you may suffer from social media profile squatters. Who knew about this Twitter thing? Someone did beat Amazon…
    http://twitter.com/amazon

  2. Thanks for your insights Bryan. I’m hopeful that some of your Groksters will add their thoughts too by Blogging about what they think.

    Your community should also know that you’ve been very kind and donated a signed copy of your new book, Always Be Testing, as one of the prizes for the best “best practice” in Social Media Marketing.

    Linda also brings up a great point – don’t leave this stuff to anyone, the person does need to savvy and proactive – great addition.

  3. I’m thinking of putting a twitter up about my dog food site. Does anyone think that will be effective. I have heard mixed thoughts about social media and e-commerce sites.

  4. [...] Please understand as a former counselor and social worker I have seen the… Related posts:Before Consistency in Social Media Marketing In “The Best Practices In Social Media Marketing Writing Project”,…Tapping the Power of [...]

  5. Consistency is the key for your customers. For marketing and SEO I think a little variety always help too. Although, even with the variety, being consistent about doing it is the important bit!

  6. Concistancy is the common fabric that is the foundation to any successful person or business. I think and it was stated earlier that with so much noise on the internet that it is hard to be focused on ONE subject or offer. Picking a Niche or Target market is an evolving process and something that needs to be done in order for ones success!

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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