A client asked me for some quick and informal advice on social media but doesn't want to bring in an expert in this area. What are the key areas I should focus on?
First, don't make the common mistake thinking this is about technology. There are lots of online applications to which you can devote a lot of time and effort, with varying degrees of success. Technology is the conclusion in a social media strategy, not the opening act. Start with the basics of marketing and define what it is that you are trying to accomplish online that you can't offline, or as a way to leverage offline marketing.
Second, given the potential complexity of social media and the fluidity of its evolution, you really need a robust strategy to be effective. A profile here, a blog there, and a discussion group over there is not a strategy. Third (and finally for this tip but far from last for your purposes), take a deliberate track into social media, tackling one or two pieces at a time and get them right before moving on to the next tactic. Know what is working for your client (or you) and check back often to assure that it still works. Tip:
A great list of evaluation criteria is from Lori Dicker's article 10 signs it's time for a social media makeover
. Included are discussions of how length of scope, relation of social media to business planning, the size of your financial commitment, your perceived need for a social media policy and how much of your social media is driven through your website. All important items that can serve as a quick (but quite insightful) checklist to evaluate social media atrategy.© 2010 Institute of Management Consultants USA