So, you’ve decided to go social. Now how do you choose the best social media channels for your group or organization?
Blogging or microblogging? Social networking or social bookmarking? Multimedia, reviews, opinions, and wikis, oh my!
It does get a little overwhelming out there, but don’t worry: you don’t have to use them all. Choose your channels for the audience you want to reach, the kind of content you want to share with them, and the results you want to achieve.
Channels are great tactical tools, but to use them wisely, you have to get strategic. Plan your communications so that social media serves your objectives, your goals, and ultimately your mission. Otherwise, why bother?
Let’s say your mission is to make the world better informed by sharing your expertise. If your goal is to build and strengthen your clientele, choose a channel where you can go into depth.
Blogging is a natural for professional advisors—lawyers, tax accountants, editors, and consultants of all types. It’s also good for teachers, researchers, stay-at-home parents, authors, government officials, and politicians—in other words, people who do a lot of explaining.
If you blog on the basis of your expertise, you can also provide guidance on review and opinion sites as well as wikis. Likewise, businesses that depend on being reviewed—the hospitality, restaurant, and travel industries come to mind—will also want to be in dialogue with reviewers.
Suppose your content is primarily verbal, but its value is highly time-sensitive—think of reporters, activists, celebrities, crisis communicators—you can share up-to-the minute information on a microblog. This channel is also good for cross-promoting updates to your other social media channels.
But suppose you want to show, not just tell. In that case, focus on multimedia. Some channels specialize in still images—good for galleries, museums, artists, designers, garden centers, or mail-order retailers, to name a few.
For more multimedia impact, focus on moving images with sound. Video channels are just the thing for a how-to demonstration from a skilled tradesperson, a travelogue from a tourism bureau, a teaser from a film or TV company, the latest release from a musician, or a political action not covered by the major media.
Would you like to keep up with industry news? With social bookmarking, a typeface manufacturer can track the use of its fonts in the digital world. Are you a fan of popular culture? Share and save the latest links with social bookmarking. Do prospects have trouble finding your niche product or service on a too-general Internet search engine? Try social bookmarking and get noticed faster by the right people.
If you’d like to tailor the scope of your appeal, social networking works for both mass and niche marketing campaigns. Business-oriented social networkers include retailers, nonprofits, fundraisers, and executive recruiters.
Again, there’s no need to use every channel. Start with just one or two that suit your strategies. Keep them updated with content that your audience(s) will value. Get strategic, and get social! (LA)
Note: Thanks to ApartmentTherapy.com for showcasing the “Faux Vintage Tech Ads” from Brazilian ad agency Moma.