Tuesday, April 28, 2009

How to Choose a Social Media Channel for Business

at this month’s waco social media breakfast,Jay Ehret, talked about how to choose a social medial channel for business. we had a greatturnout with 26 people there. here are my notes from jay’s very informative presentation:

the cluetrain manefesto is the “old testatment” of social media discussing the age of conversations and how markets are conversations. groundswell is the “new testament” of social media

what is social media?
  • wikipedia defines social media as: information contentcreated by people using highly accessible and scalable publishing technologies. At its most basic sense, social media is a shift in how people discover, read and share news, information and content. It’s a fusion of sociology and technology, transforming monologue (one to many) into dialog (many to many) and is the democratization of information, transforming people from content readers into publishers. Social media has become extremely popular because it allows people to connect in the online world to form relationships for personal and business. Businesses also refer to social media as user-generated content (UGC) or consumer-generated media (CGM).
  • the main thing to remember is that you can not control the conversation in social media.
because social media is low cost to free, many companies are tempted to “do it all to make sure we are doing the right thing” but, there is a time cost involved to do social media correctly. once you choose a social media channel you are now engaged with that channel.

so, how do you choose a social media channel? choose it based on your challenge

#1 awareness — people don’t know about you
  • best way to overcome this challenge is through video
  • youtube is the best way to get your video out there, even if you have your video on other on-line sources, put it on youtube as well
  • jay has his own youtube channel, farm bureau and tstc do as well. other than that, not very many local businesses are using youtube
  • question: which is more important, quality or content in your video
  • content is more important
  • quality should reflect your business profile
  • title of video or blog post is key tag. Must have key words that will be used in searches
#2 word of mouth — enabling people to have conversations about you
  • one of the easiest on-line communities to set up is ning.com
  • make sure you have the community support and people to join your community
  • yammer.com is a twitter-like app that is closed
#3 complexity — a blog is the best channel if you have some “splaning to do.” also, a blog will give your business credibility and authority and increase your SEO (search engine optimization)
  • BLOG = better links on google
  • 3 main blogging platforms:
  • blogger – owned by google and is good for getting google search engine results.
  • wordpress – free
  • type pad – paid service
  • question: people don’t like to read, should you do video blogs?
  • people still read on-line, they don’t read books
  • search engines cannot search video
  • most people still prefer writing text over video
  • post frequently and consistently — the more often you post, the more search engine “juice” you will get
#4 accessibility — if accessibility is the challenge, twitter is the appropriate channel #wacosmb
  • are you accessible?
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • myspace
  • linked in
  • podscope searches in audio and video posts
  • social media moves fast, don’t get married to any one thing
  • social media is a conversation where you have to be engaged — you can’t just use it like an advertisement without interaction
twitter search for all the tweet from #wacosmb
for more information check out our waco social media website or our facebook page
our next waco social media breakfast is on tuesday, may 26th at 7:30 am at olive branch, sign up here

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