Lighting the touchpaper
5 Tips to Starting a Digital Strategy by Matthew Green
Several months ago I wrote an article on why businesses should be using Social Media. The statistics proposed by NeilsenWire, AdNews, The Australian newspaper and the ABC News website lead to the following conclusion.
“With almost 7,750,000 wage earning Australians currently engaged in some form of social media the answer for most people should be a resounding ‘yes’.”
Being the sort of person that likes to practice what he preaches I established and continuously maintain my corporate social media presence. This includes our website, blog, Facebook Page, LinkedIn Discussion Group and company Twitter account. On top of that I also manage my own personal blog, twitter account, Facebook page etc. It’s a lot of work for a small business with limited resources (not to mention the fact that I am the proud father of five wonderful children) but it is a commitment you need to make if you want your efforts to be rewarded.
Like any marketing activity, a Social Media strategy needs to be planned and Heidi really helped us a lot with this process. Our clients and suppliers are a diverse group of companies but the three main outlets of Social Media they all seemed to use were Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We also discovered that our corporate newsletters were widely read so we had to factor that channel into the equation as well. What we came up with was a corporate blog site that we could feed through to our Facebook Page, Twitter account and Linked In Discussion Group. Heidi also introduced us to an application called TweetDeck that enables us to post Twitter comments to multiple sites including our Facebook page. All of a sudden we were able to write once and publish to many; and all our apprehensions were gone.
Since establishing our Social Media presence and becoming actively involved in the community I have made a number of observations that I would like to share with you.
1. Make sure you ‘tweet’, ‘blog’ and update your Facebook status regularly. Visitors will stop visiting if the content remains the stagnant. How often you do this is a business decision you have to make. I try to blog twice per week for my company and once for myself. However, I update Twitter and Facebook almost every day. Although this costs my company three to four hours per week of my time, I know that the group of followers we have appreciate the effort.
2. On the flip side, don’t be a blog hog. If people see you flooding the twitterverse with useless trivia then you will quickly become associated with spam and filtered out.
3. Share your knowledge and offer useful information. Don’t just try to sell your wares because that is the surest way to become unfollowed.
4. Don’t get discouraged if you fail to gain instant success. In many instances, building up a viable social media presence takes time and effort. Not everyone will end up the size of Mashable or Hubspot.
5. Be honest! The global social network is an incredibly large organism and the old adage that ‘bad news travels fast’ is especially relevant.
Finally, the most important rule of all in my opinion, and one I’m sure everyone has been guilty of not doing at some stage is, – Reciprocation. If you do not acknowledge a retweet, comment on a blog, or offer an insight into a discussion, how can you expect your community to do the same for you.
Matthew Green is a forty something, father of five and small business owner with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and the author of the popular ‘iDad’ series of short stories. His love for creative writing developed out of telling stories to his children and his first novel ‘Pine Gap’ is awaiting publication. Samples of his work can be found at http://matthewgreen.com.au