10 Tips for Online Social Networking

My staff and I have been busy compiling research and reflecting on our own experiences as social media marketers.  In doing so, I thought it would be good idea to share a list of the 10 most basic tips for successful online social networking.  

1.  It’s about relationships.  Online social networking is about building healthy, real relationships with people.  It is NOT about selling your brand, but more about building a relationship between your brand and potential buyers and consumers.

2.  Listen!  Social networking is about creating two-way relationships, so be sure to listen to the feedback you are receiving.

3.  Participate in the discussion.  Make no mistake about it, this can be time consuming, but it is extremely important to follow up on feedback and posts that you receive through your online media.  Whether it is re-Tweeting or replying to a Facebook posting, consistent communication is key.

4.  Know your audience.  Social media is no different than any other marketing or communication tool; you must know your audience. 

5.  Know your message.  Although social media is a flexible medium, it is still as important as ever to have a professional, targeted message.  If not properly established, you will cause significant damage to brand consistency.

6.  Take notice of feedback.  One of the beauties of social media is that it enables your business to receive real-time feedback.  The Internet has absolutely made it easier for consumers to provide feedback; be sure to take note and move forward accordingly.

7.  You must plan for success.  A successful social media plan must be strategically thought out.  It cannot be something rushed into, or started without a clear direction. 

8.  It’s ALWAYS about integration.  Social media is not a silver bullet.  It must be integrated into other marketing tools to make the most impact.  It is another tool in the marketers ever-expanding toolbox!

9.  Utilize new content.  If you have created new content for the Web, don’t be afraid to use it for other marketing materials.  If you have created a new blog posting, it’s perfectly suitable to include in an E-newsletter.  

10. Have Fun.  Social media is about communicating with those who have a mutual interest in each other.  It doesn’t matter if it is for business or personal reasons.  Have fun, and those you communicate with will recognize this.  Fun is always a good thing!

Obviously the amount of knowledge needed to have a successful social media campaign cannot be condensed into ten tips, but they are still helpful.  If you are interested in learning more, call me at 214-528-5775.  I would love to expand on these.