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Managing Your Social Media Networks, Page 2

 Goal and message control

It is critical that you know your goal in using social media.  Be very clear about what you want to accomplish.  Are you sending people to your website?  Establishing customer interaction? Offering deals? 


Remember that asking a group to give you their input results in an expectation by the group that their input is valuable and that they will be listened to. Once a goal is shared, it becomes a group goal, not your goal.  The group then needs to be consulted, not told, about future actions.  Groups are very powerful, which is great when the group likes your idea.  Not so great when it doesn't.



An emerging problem with social marketing is that of privacy.  There are daily reports about stolen and faked identities associated with social networking. Assure your customers that their privacy is protected on your sites.



Accuracy of information is also an issue.  A huge plus of enabling anyone to comment is the ability to hear all voices.  The minus is the difficulty of checking on the reliability or accuracy of what is being said.  Be sure the information you provide is accurate and that your sources are credible.


 Group responders

Every group has a leader, either a leader who may have a formal title, or he/she may be  an informal leader and the person with the most influence.  It’s important to identify the influence leaders on your site so that you can use them as testimonials on your website, as Facebook and Twitter partners and as signers on your emails. You recognize leaders by consistently monitoring your site, seeing who is posting comments, how often and, most importantly, whether other visitors are influenced by that person’s comments and respond to that person.


Once you decide to embark upon a social media marketing effort, identify the person or persons who will be responsible for sending your messages via social media. 


This person is probably not the intern, but someone who is very familiar with your business, and who understands the value of positive customer relations.  

The personnel you select to engage in social media represent your company and should be able to effectively communicate company positions and policies and to respond professionally to both positive and negative input. As nearly all social media communication is written, your social media personnel need excellent writing skills including spelling, grammar, usage and punctuation.


Think about:

Who in your organization will send and answer messages?

When will messages be sent? (Most people want an instant response with no more than 24-hour lag).

Does time zone matter?

How much does your message sender know about your organization? 

What written skills does this person possess in order to send clear messages?

Who will this person contact when he/she does not know the answer to a question?

How will you know whether the message you receive is from an actual customer or prospective customer?

How will your customers know the message is from your company?

How will you protect the privacy of your customers?

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