Understanding & Managing Social Media – Part 1

Getting Started

The rise of the social web has caused profound shifts in the way we consume and share information. Media industries like publishing and music, have experienced devastating disruption. Even if your business has avoided this first shockwave, the relationship between you and your customers has changed forever. If you are not using social communication technologies to engage your customers today, don’t wait any longer. You can be sure your competition is way ahead of you.

But why?

For many, the idea of committing to a Social Media strategy and collaborating with customers is still uncomfortable, but the payoff can be enormous. Well designed Social Media campaigns create a direct channel to your fans; a powerful opportunity to understand their needs, establish trust, and personalize your offerings.

I’m still not convinced…

If you are new to Social Media and skeptical or confused, there are many good books for business people exploring the larger dynamics of this massive social shift. I can recommend a few:

The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk

The Network Is Your Customer by David Rogers

How To Make Money With Social Media by Turner & Shah

Content Rules by Handley & Chapman

The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott

Groundswell by Li and Bernoff

… and anything by Seth Godin who’s book, Permission Marketing was one of the first to identify the significance and dynamics of this global change.

But I’m already on Facebook…

I suggest developing a solid understanding of the principles and underlying forces in social campaigns before jumping into the tools in a big way. Having a million Twitter or Facebook followers doesn’t really mean much unless the relationships are genuine and your approach is aligned with your larger business strategy.

In Part Two of this series I will offer some tips for managing the “always-on” overload that can accompany Social Media.

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