3 steps to a successful social media strategy

There are three things you need to do to have a successful social media strategy for yourself or your organisation / company. And they can be remembered as the 3M’s of Social Media.

  • Monitor

The first step is to monitor, or listen to, what people are saying. What are they saying about one, or all, of the following: yourself, your brand or your interests.

What is the conversation? What are their points and how are they talking about them? Remember, in social media a conversation isn’t limited to words in text, you should monitor the whole audio / visual spectrum online.

So if your business is all about coffee, then monitor the conversations about coffee. I’ll show you how to do this in a later post, but in the meantime why not try searching for ‘coffee’ on twitter.

  • Maintain

Secondly you should maintain, or manage, your contact with these conversations and keep the conversations going; generate interest. Answer questions that have been raised, or join in the debate. Even own up to a mistake if your brand has slipped up.

As you engage with these conversations you’ll develop a network of contacts. These will be important as you get to the final step in this strategy.

But make sure you don’t attempt to censor the conversation, you won’t be able to anyway, and you’ll make matters worse.

I’ll expand on this in a later post too, but again get out there and join in the conversations and remember to be humble.

  • Message

Finally, and this is to be done last of all, you can initiate some conversation. This is your chance to push content into the social networks.You are finally allowed to create a conversation.

You can push your own content from your website or shop. Or create a discussion about something close to your heart. Either of these, and many more ideas, can be about you, your brand or interest. However, you should also be real. Make sure your conversations are about what you are doing, showing you are a real person. You’ll end up with others engaging in conversation if they know you are real. One sure way to stiffle conversation, and followers, is to only talk about your latest product or deal.

This leads you neatly back to the first step and closes your social media loop. You’ve said something, and now it is time to listen again. This time your own conversations will be part of the mix

As I said, I’ll explore each of the above in a little more detail in future posts. I’ll look at tools and tips you can use but all the above is pretty straightforward if you follow the three steps.

Twitter becomes a useful waste of time

Rolling out from today you should start seeing the search bar on the right hand side of your twitter page. Underneath this you’ll also have a list of the top things being tweeted. This now makes twitter very useful, in addition to its current roll of my favourite waste of time :)

One of the issues I have with twitter is as soon as you have more than a few people to follow, and if one or two of them are prolific twitters, you can easily miss tweets and get drowned in the tweetalanche. By being able to search, and search really well, twitter becomes more interactive. It adds the pull to what is predominantly a push service, despite what it looks like on first impressions.

This also makes it easier to use  via a web browser. So far I have had to use twhirl, tweetdeck and twitkit (okay twitkit is a browser add on) to really get a grip on twitter. But the search function within the main twitter page may mean I rely less on the other twitter clients… only time will tell.

All in all this is a great roll out. How long till facebook make it easier to search statuses?