While for many, how to best use social media to promote and publicize their organization appears to be an amorphous creature that continues to escape their grasp, it's really fairly straightforward, and it's time to join the conversation.
And, that is pretty much what social media is all about; it's a conversation between you and others, via the Internet, primarily with your network of constituents, but also with the outside world. Think of it as a cocktail party, a business meeting, or networking event where you share what's new, your interests, and things you think would be valuable to those with whom you are talking.
Just as when you are in these other social settings; you do the same for your social media network. Your goal is to create a conversation around mutual interests. So, in this dialog, you share your successes, your exciting new plan to make the world a better place, your shiny new program, or your impressive new hire. But, you also want to talk about the community to which you both belong and you want to provide valuable information to that community. When you think about it, it's pretty basic public relations; there are just some basic guidelines that you need to keep in mind to remain relevant (so you're not tuned out by your audience).
Mashable, a leading online news community, lists 21 rules of engagement for using social media to your advantage, here are my top 3 picks from their list:
- Become a true participant in each community you wish to activate.
- Establish and nurture beneficial relationships online and in the real world as long as doing so is important to your business.
- Give back, reciprocate, and recognize notable contributions from participants in your communities.
And, here are my hip tips:
- Start today; jump in and get your feet wet, you just need to participate. But, be careful about what you post; set up some guidelines that fit with your brand ideal and work to promote that message.
- Post regularly, but not constantly; keep the conversation going, but try not to dominate the conversation.
- Remember your audience, rather than simply entertain like you might at a cocktail party, think about your conversation as a luncheon meeting. It's casual, but on point and message; talk about something you both find interesting.
- Operate outside your immediate sphere of influence, in other like arenas where interaction can be beneficial.
If you want to keep someone engaged, have a meaningful conversation that you both enjoy. If you're still stuck about where to start, give me a call, I'd be happy to help you get the conversation going.