The Guide to the Social Galaxy
I do not proclaim to be a social media guru, expert, or marketing maven. I am, like many of you, learning to use the tools through observation, success and failure, and absorption of the mass quantities of information. While my journey with Twitter began only three months ago for DrinkNectar, I have been using social media for two years for Real Estate and personal connection. There is so much great information out there for businesses to digest. Getting started can be a challenge and once you’re involved, filtering the knowledge can be downright overwhelming.
Many sites are dedicated to collecting and distributing Social Media tips and information. Mashable is among the best. I highly recommend bookmarking their site and following them on Twitter for a real time stream of new information. Below are items I’ve bookmarked over the last few months that may be valuable, regardless of if you’ve been using Facebook / Twitter since they came on the scene or are just getting started.
Building the Brand:
This great post by Rick Bakas, Director of Social Media for @StSupery Winery, helps businesses clarify each of these categories. Before launching any Social Media strategy (or any marketing strategy period), it would be beneficial to start here and identify the difference with your own brand.
Develop your Strategy:
Once you’ve established your brand, logo, and marketing strategy, you’ll want to include Social Media as a part of that strategy. Social Media is not your strategy, it’s a part of your overall brand voice. I recently asked Oregon winery Sokol Blosser about social media strategy,
“We didn’t want to just jump in and hope that social media worked… we created a plan that mapped out several specific things: what kind of information we would post, the “voice” of our brand on social media, how many times a day we would post… goals, etc. Having a plan from the beginning helped us to have a clear understanding of what social media could provide for us, spared a lot of headaches and helped us to feel confident.” – @sokolblosser
In this video Gary V talks about the four “C”s to social media strategy: Content, Community, Customer Service, and Care. Gary is enthusiastic and his passion is contagious. Check out this short video to help light the fire.
For more on strategy, I really enjoyed this post from Eric Hwang @bricksofwine. Eric’s post is geared for wineries but contains great information for all businesses developing a brand, marketing and Social Media strategy.
Going to Social School:
Learning the tricks of the trade can help make Social Media tools more efficient. When you are efficient, you can be more effective. On the surface these tools look to be simple but as you’ll soon find out, there are several nuances that can make using them infinitely more powerful.
The folks at @enobytes are on to a great educational series on Twitter. Parts one and two contain information that is beneficial for the ‘new’ user as well as the ‘veteran’ of Social Media. These two posts (and I’m sure there will be more) are great starting points for using and understanding Twitter.
Twitter and Facebook are two powerful Social Media tools. They are not interchangeable and a smart business will be on both and have modified strategies for using each. Tweeting your Facebook status to Twitter seems to be a major turn off to Twitter users. While Twitter is a real time stream of information for interacting and connecting with your followers, Facebook provides a landing page where fans can interact with you AND each other AND your content.
Time to Take Action:
Ok, you have your brand strategy set and you’ve tackled the basics of integrating Social Media into that strategy. You’ve take some steps to become educated on the key tools of Social Media. Now you’re ready for action!
Barbara Evans (aka @seattlewinegal) is an excellent resource for action oriented Social Media advice. In this post she talks about six great action items that can come out of using Social Media tools.
This post is one I wrote to provide specific action that businesses can take when jumping in to the Social Media world. The post covers three high level ideas, 1) Connect with connectors, 2) Go local, 3) Don’t be shy. Specific granular suggestions are given for each are.
I love specific ideas and suggestions. Eric Hwang shares 17 very specific ideas that can help your winery generate good content for Twitter or Facebook. Great resource for overcoming the all too common ‘writers block.’
Shannon of @michbythebottle pulls back the covers on eight very simple ways wineries should use twitter to engage the wine community and their customers. If you need some very basic steps to follow, this list will help drive your success.
Still on the fence about Social Media? Watch this!