There are a lot of Social Media Superstars (Social Media Consultants) hanging around right now telling you what to do in social media, what not, what’s cool, what’s not and how you should behave online. Some of what is said is good and right, most is bullshit. The usual way with consulting…So let’s set up the one and only social media coaching you really need (to get started).
I decided to split this post into three different sections since Social Media Guide are three words. Perfect! So let’s get it on:
This section is about being social. Obviously a big part of Social Media. But being social does not mean hanging out a lot at (online) places, being everywhere and talking shit. It really means how you behave, your way of being social. This contains some of the following aspects:
- Do you allow your staff to use facebook & co. at work?
- If not, why should they use it to push your brand during spare time?
- Do you trust them or do you control them all the time?
- Controling is not that social
- Do you respond to feedback? Intern and extern?
- If you don’t respond to feedback, nobody’s going to give you some.
- Do you care about feedback?
- If you don’t care about feedback, people will stop giving it to you
- Do you force staff to ‘like’ your things on facebook and other platforms?
- If people are not serious about ‘liking’ things, their friends will realize it.
I hope you understand where I’m coming from….do not PRETEND to be social, simply BE social. It’s pretty easy and does not cost to much.
Putting the Media into Social Media. Most of the companies trying to participate in social media tend to create a facebook fanpage (a lot even just create a profile page, wich is kinda lame of course…at least create a fanpage, for god’s sake). Some even might register a twitter account and tweet 3 – 4 times. GREAT! NOT!
Really people, think about what you are willing to do in social media. If you choose to take part in this hype, you need to sacrifice yourself to it. This does not mean that social media is your main focus – of course not. You need to earn money with your core business first. BUT if you do not have time or energy to use social media channels, simply don’t enter them!
On the other hand, if you want to use social media to boost your company, then you might should think about going further than facebook and twitter. This leaves us with two possibilities:
- take your time and check social media services
- location based stuff (foursquare, gowalla, etc.)
- niche communities
- mobile applications
- Ask me (or somebody who knows and works within the business, of course)
Bottom line for this: Don’t do social media half-hearted! Actually do not DO social media at all. Be it, live it, even try it. Trying is appreciated and nobody would kill you, if your first try isn’t mega amazing. But be honest with yourself and your fans / followers…well simply be social. Oh wait…didn’t we just talk about this? See…social & media belongs together!
Putting the guide in social media. This is basically about the bottom lines of the first 2 paragpraphs. And a little more advice. So at first: Be SOCIAL! Second: use the right MEDIA and use it wisely. Don’t use it just for the use’s sake. And now the GUIDE:
- trial and error is fine. as long as you don’t try to screw people up. don’t be an asshole!
- ask for advice, be open to tips. social media is great for knowledge exchange. a lot of people are friendly and helpful. just ask for oppinions and tips. And be thankful if you receive them.
- even though you can receive a lot of free advice, it is not only about taking. give something back. people will appreciate that
- don’t take part in bullshit bingo. there are a lot of so called social media strategists, evangelists, gurus and consultants out there who barely now how to set up a simple webpage but consider themselves as web 2.0 heroes because they’ve read some blogs and know some buzzwords. don’t believe everything that’s said. since you are running a company or are in charge of your marketing / online marketing department I suppose you can think on your own. So simply ask yourself whether everything those people say can be true….and if it does not make sense to you at all, it might just be a load of bullshit.
Remember: If it looks like bullshit, smells like bullshit and sounds like bullshit – it might simply be…bullshit
4.) Bonustrack: The – Social Media, Baby – Graph
Since infographics and pictures are kinda hip right now (and since I think pictures can say more than 1.000 words – wait, that’s not my own saying, isn’t it?) I decided to be creative and came up with the following social media graphic:
The graphic basically shows the paradigm shift from the old customer-company-relationship to the new, web-oriented, relationship between companies and customers (brown/orange part). Back in the days the customers needed you as a company to supply them with goods. You were their hero and could charge almost everything. Nowadays you serve the customer! If you don’t serve them well, they’ll simply choose another company. You are not alone anymore. So customers first, should be the rule to follow.
On the left hand there is the ‘bad internet‘. If you screw up things and are an asshole, people will notice and tell everybody. And what made it to the internet can’t be taken out. It’s there and will stay there. Maybe not forever, but for a long time. Long enough to make it to the offline world…
On the right hand there is the ‘good internet‘. If you are cool, helpful and do things right, people will notice and even tell this! Their friends will find their way to you….everything will be fine. And the cool thing: Even good things stay in the internet and might even boost your offline business.
Oh yeah…and did you realize that the graphic looks somehow like a hourglass? Cool ey? Think about it…
And now go out and be social, god damn it!