At Found Line, we often have people ask us about using social media as a marketing tool. Unfortunately many try to approach social media as just another marketing avenue or, even worse, as a form of advertising. Here are a few key rules you must follow or you will fail miserably.
It’s not about you. It’s about your users/ customers/ readers/ viewers. What are you providing that’s valuable? Where is the overlap between your users’ needs and wants and what you have to say?
You are not the center of your network. You are just part of a larger network. Be a good citizen. Provide something of value. Connect with other networks; grow your network.
Whatever you do, do not try to control how or what is communicated. For employees, set clear boundaries as to what is OK to publish and what isn’t and don’t punish employees if they say something you don’t like within those boundaries. Encourage everyone (inside and out) to speak their minds. If they have something bad to say, it’s an opportunity to improve your product/service. If they have something good to say then great!
Social media is not one-way. It is a conversation, not a broadcast. Don’t start a conversation if you’re not willing to listen. No one will listen to you if you don’t listen to them.
For some interesting reading on how companies are using social media, see The New Robert Scobles: Seven Leading Corporate Social Media Evangelists Today and Zappos Shows How Social Media Is Done.