- Be relevant to those you wish to connect with, the #hashtag function in twitter enables others to search and filter posts for relevance.
- Concentrate on the important users/followers, having 25,000 followers may look impressive, but is useless for any sensible connection with the few who are important.
- Ask for input, help, comment, and it will come from a few of those who are engaged, clearly the ones you want to build a relationship, who share a connection.
- Build relationships first, sales may follow later, but without a relationship, there will be no sales. Consumers are a wary lot, rightly so, and looking like a pushy digital “used car salesman” will just turn people off.
Organisations of all types and sizes are grappling with the impact of social media. It is simply a fact of life now that many if not most customers, employees, and value chain partners use it, the potential as a marketing and communication tool is only just starting to be leveraged, and the clash with the cultural norms of the 20th century organisation are profound.
The social media egg will not be unscrambled, and setting out to manage its implications on all the relationships that exist to make an organisation work by command and control mechanisms simply will not work. A new set of rules needs to apply, and we need to think differently about governance practices we employ, and look to what works elsewhere.
In addition to the governance issues, being effective in a hugely cluttered environment with no barriers to entry is remarkably difficult, so some simple marketing guidelines may be useful, irrespective of the delivery mechanism: