Social Network : ROE vs. ROI: Part I
The case for socializing your business.January 2012 By Sarah Fleishman, Manager, Marketing & Social Media, Access Networks
During the last few years social networking has quickly transformed from niche to mainstream. It is clear that social media is here to stay and stands to impact our marketing strategies forever. If you have embraced social marketing in your business you might have hired a consultant, read a few social-marketing books, or talked to your 15-year-old niece about proper online lingo. Now what?
If you have yet to take the plunge, you are certainly asking yourself 'Why do I need a social media strategy?' One of the biggest challenges to getting your business started with social media is figuring out what to do first. With numerous websites dedicated to content-sharing, it is often difficult to not only know where to start, but where and when to stop. Facebook? Twitter? Google+? Do I hire a full time social media manager? Should I allocate social media duties to my existing marketing department? Do I take on the challenge myself?
Whatever your approach, it is important to remember that social media is only one part of your overall marketing strategy. While simply having a presence is important, it is even more important to take the right steps to ensure that your business benefits from all the resources that social networking has to offer.
Educate your Social Media Strategist
Unlike traditional marketing, social media is not only about self-promotion. It is equally about answering questions, having conversations, and facilitating authentic interactions. It is nearly impossible to do this without a social media strategy that is managed by someone who can truly represent your brand. Therefore, if you do hire a dedicated social media manager it is, first and foremost, imperative to educate them about all aspects of your company. What is your overall marketing strategy? What is your company's brand all about? Who are your clients? How do they find you?
As a social media strategist at Access Networks, I have found that one of the most important tools for effective online communication is truly knowing our company from the inside out. This means not only understanding our brand, our overall marketing strategy, our clientele and our solution, but also knowing what we do in the field and how our solution complements, impacts and enriches others in the industry. What this means for me is a continuing education about all things Access Networks, including project walks, product demos, attending industry events and a commitment to discuss, shift and adjust our strategy as the industry evolves.