10 Ways to Get Serious About Social Media

Posted on January 3rd 2010


If this is your year to buckle down and tackle a social media strategy, it's time to get serious. The time for oohing and ahhing is rapidly drawing to a close, and instead your efforts have to become about practical, methodical application.

Here's 10 ways to get serious about social media this year. There are plenty more, too. Add yours in the comments.

1) Quit counting fans, followers, and blog subscribers like bottle caps. Think, instead, about what you're hoping to achieve with and through the community that actually cares about what you're doing.

2) Learn how to measure stuff, and quit making excuses for why you can't do it. Katie Paine's blog is overflowing with stuff. Here's some metrics you might consider if they're applicable for your goals. And here's how you can start setting measurable objectives.

3) Learn what case studies can and can't do for you. Stop saying there aren't enough of them and go Google the term “social media case studies” or spend a few minutes on my Delicious links. Then, get busy writing your own.

4) Understand the difference between making a business case for social media and chasing the next and greatest fad. If you don't understand how to explain where social media impacts areas outside the business besides your own, make a concerted effort to learn.

5) Stop lauding social media as the thing that's going to fix it all. Fix your business first. And read Jay Baer's blog (including this post) for a reality check.

6) Approach social media methodically, and with the same care that you would any other business investment you make. Tamsen McMahon will help.

7) Quit waiting for the water to be perfect before you get in. It's not going to be, ever. Try something that makes strategic sense for your business. Julien Smith articulates a bit about why waiting for one tiny thing is often what holds us back.

8) Think long term, and commit to it. That doesn't mean some of your experiments can't be finite, but the overall approach has to be for good. Mitch Joel even says so.

9) Focus on what you're good at. Know the core of your business, and make that the center of your work, especially through the amplifier of social media. Chris Penn reminds us of the importance of this, as he's apt to do.

10) Recognize that potential missteps shouldn't paralyze you into inaction. Acknowledge that there are ways to recover from, say, a misguided communication effort. Having a plan to pick yourself up is the key, rather than trying to avoid failure at all costs (including stagnation).

What else would you add? What's your buckle-down strategy this year, and how are you turning your approach from theory into application? Share your ideas, favorite posts, and strategies in the comments.

image by L. Marie

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10 Ways to Get Serious About Social Media


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AmberNaslund

Amber Naslund

Amber is VP Social Strategy for Radian6, and a blogger, author, and communications strategist, helping businesses make things happen through better communication. Her book, The Now Revolution, coauthored with Jay Baer hits shelves in February, 2011.
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Comments

MattMooreWrites
Posted on January 4th 2010 at 2:42PM

I've been thinking about doing a blog post similar to this. A Cher-like "Snap out of it!" message that in the new year it's time to calm down and approach SM realistically. Thanks for writing it for me.

LarryBrauner
Posted on January 4th 2010 at 5:37PM
This is a great list Amber. I'll add one more...

11) Be a team player. Collaborate more than you compete. Give credit to other people by linking to them or sharing their content, just as Amber Naslund has in her post.

FranciscoRosales
Posted on January 5th 2010 at 5:40AM
Hey Amber, not only great points but thanks for sharing so many great articles. I would add: stop getting distracted by the tools, they're awesome but they're just tools.
DonnaDeClemente
Posted on January 6th 2010 at 3:34AM
Thanks Amber. I just wrote a post on my blog yesterday regarding some new tools I had added to my blog to help encourage sharing. One was the reblog function. So you are the first post that I just reblogged to my blog. Since I didn't write a post today for my blog your post was great content to add and the function worked great!
JulieMyers
Posted on January 6th 2010 at 3:52AM
This is a great article and the links to the other articles provided lots more support and information. I totally agree with your first point. Quality over quantity should be more important. Social media isn't new; we've always been social. We just have new and different tools to use. As someone else pointed out, social media is just one of the tools in your marketing toolbox - pull it out and use it when it makes sense with your strategy.
AmberNaslund
Posted on January 7th 2010 at 2:04AM
WOW, thanks everyone for the great comments. Some stellar additions in here, and it's encouraging to see lots of people agreeing that playtime is over (if they've decided social media makes sense for their business, that is).

A few of you mentioned listening and that's a great addition, of course. But I'd add that you have to have a purpose and a goal for your listening strategy, too. Are you just listening for your brand? Your competition? Industry discussions? And what are you going to do with the information you find? Even if you're not sure what's out there, approaching listening methodically is important if you're going to do it well.

 

Thanks again to all of you for reading, and contributing your thoughts. And please stay in touch this year. I'm eager to hear how your plans are progressing!
KristiBeckman
Posted on January 7th 2010 at 10:08AM
Amber, thank you for all this great advice and links to to the fantastic wisdom of fellow SM gurus.  I'm sure you've read or heard quite a bit about GOV 2.0 and social media.  It's a brave new world for us in the DOD and there are many who just refuse to test out the waters.  So, I especially like point #7.  We just held a public affairs conference centered around social media.  We brought in some great speakers to include Brian Solis, "Putting the Public Back in Public Relations."  Amazingly though, we still saw some negative vibes from folks.  Not sure if they're scared, lazy or just think it's a fad that will pass.
Luckily, my command is on board here at U.S. European Command and we're pushing forward in the SM realm - ready or not!
Thank you again for taking the time to share these insights with all of us.  I know it was quite a bit of work getting this blog together.
DrDaveHale
Posted on January 7th 2010 at 1:40PM
Great article. You are so spot on! I preach this every day to my college students I teach social media and Internet marketing to. They are not the usual pimple-faced 18-ish group, these are on average 40-somethings who own their own business. They get too caught up in how big their followers, contacts, friends, email list is. I preach to first focus on continually providing valuable content and services in order to develop the like, know, and trust platform. Once you are know as the go to guy or gal, then you focus more on building a large list.

Dave Hale
JulieWeishaar
Posted on January 8th 2010 at 1:16AM
Great article and references Amber.  I like your direct approach - stop whining, moaning and procrastinating.  Figure out what you have to do and just do it.  This is actually good advice for every aspect of everyones' lives - not just using social media marketing for their businesses.  Thanks for sharing and consider yourself re-shared :)
KyleThousand
Posted on January 8th 2010 at 7:15PM
Great article Amber!  As I was scrolling through the comments, I was getting ready to comment about listening with a purpose/goal but you beat me to it! :) I especially like Nos. 1 and 6 and how they relate. People get caught up in the numbers game and try to share as much content as possible to increase followers, fans, etc. without thinking through what they are sharing in the first place.  Its a problem that happens all too often.  I enjoy reading your articles - thanks for sharing your SM wisdom!
Courtney Hunt
Posted on January 9th 2010 at 8:16PM
Loved the tips as well as everyone's comments. I am going to share the link with the Social Media in Organizations (SMinOrgs) Community via LI and Twitter. These ideas are just as important when considering the intra-organizational implications and applications of social media as they are with respect to the marketing/branding/PR/customer service applications. 2010 is going to be an interesting year . . .
Posted on September 8th 2010 at 9:41AM

I've been thinking about doing a weblog post similar to this. A Cher-like "Snap out of it!" cisco king message that in the new year it is time to relax & approach SM realistically. Thanks for writing it for me .

robin1
Posted on September 22nd 2010 at 6:37AM

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Posted on November 26th 2010 at 10:13AM

Great commodity Amber! As I was scrolling through the comments,Juniper Networks certification I was accepting accessible to animadversion about alert with a purpose/goal butLpi certificationyou exhausted me to it! :) I abnormally like Nos. 1 and 6 and how they relate. People get bent up in the numbers bold and try to allotment as abundant agreeable as accessible to access followers, fans, etc.Lotus certification after cerebration through what they are administration Microsoft certificationin the aboriginal place. Its a botheration that happens all too often. I adore account your online writing - acknowledgment for administration your SM wisdom!