Don’t start your social media effort with a Facebook page

When initially discussing social media with clients, often the first thing brought up is using Twitter or Facebook as an outgoing tool to push their advertising messages. If you’re thinking about social media from a traditional marketing perspective, there’s nothing wrong with this concept. It’s obviously a cheap media buy, and we all know that it’s a bigger and bigger audience every day. So it makes total sense to dive in, right?

In case you haven’t heard, volume of social media is absolutely huge, including 133,000,000 blogs, 250,000,000 active Facbook users and, now, over 33 million Twitters. This vast sea of information contains connections and ecosystems that even the most adept brand manager or CMO will find confounding without the right tools and people with a dedication to finding them.

After the individuals and connections are found, marketers must learn what customers are saying and gauge their sentiment about their product, brand and company. Marketers may discover there’s a lot being said by more people than they would have thought possible.

Once all this information is gathered, it becomes obvious that simply getting a line in the water isn’t enough. Marketers need to develop a unique strategy to engage their audience that’s a lot deeper and more involved than getting on Twitter and Facebook with the same message they’ve been using in traditional marketing.

OK. You get it and you’re ready to start and want to know your options.

Hire an agency or consultant to do the listening and strategy for you.

Buy a tool like Neilson’s, Radian 6, or Social Radar and make a go of it yourself.

Don’t have the budget or buy in on the importance of social media? Start with the free tools and and Excel spreadsheet. A couple graphs and some solid numbers may help you illustrate the importance of social media to decision makers.

A couple free tools are:

Google Blog Search

Twitter Search

Ice Rocket

One Riot

There are literally hundreds of tools out there, these are just a couple I’ve used. The important thing is pick a tool and stick with it if you want to do any tracking because they will all provide different results. What they won’t give you is easy tracking, graphing, and sentiment.

Posted on: September 16, 2009, by :