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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Make the Most from Your Social Media Presence

How many Facebook fans does your business have?  How many Twitter followers?  25? 500? 1000? Now, what's the quality of your relationship with those fans/followers?

In Jeff's last post he talked a bit about staying engaged in the social media world.  On the heels of that, I thought this article from Dermot McCormack, Executive VP of digital media at MTV, was worth sharing.  Yes, I know, you're probably thinking "but my business is NOTHING like MTV!" or "MTV is a huge corporation, I'm just a small farm."  While that may be true, it is important to note that we often learn from others. The "others" do not need to "look" like us to glean valuable lessons that can be applied to our specific situation or circumstances.

With that in mind, Mr. McCormack offers these 5 tips to strengthen social media presence:
1. Get Organizational Buy-In and Investment.  Make sure that everyone involved in the business recognizes the value to your social media presence and are invested in making that presence a success.  Even if there are only two of you, you should both be on the same page when it comes to social media.

2. Develop an Intelligent and Flexible Organzation Structure.  When a business employs more than one person, we tend to assign people certain areas of responsibility.  While this makes sense for something such as handling finances, when it comes to social media, you wants to share all aspects of the business.  Get someone from each aspect of your business involved - production, maketing, retail, etc.  This ties directly in with the next tip...

3. Diversify Content to Appeal to a Range of Interests.  It can get boring to followers, fans, etc. when you only share information of one sort.  Let's say you raise beef cows and direct market cuts.  Your social media friends want to hear more than just production stats or cooking tips.  Mix it up. Maybe one day you share a family tip on grilling the perfect steak, while the next you share your pick to win the Daytona 500. Just as you discuss a multitude of topics with your friends and family on a daily basis, do the same with your social media followers. 

4. Speak in an Authentic Voice.  Be yourself.  You don't want your messages to sound like they were randomly generated from a computer, but rather from a human.

5. Listen and Take Notes.  Putting information and messages out into the social realm is fantastic, but if you're not listening to feedback to those messages you may be really missing out.  Take time to answer questions, respond to criticism, ask for input.

We try to follow these tips, and it can be difficult at times, but there is a definate payout when it comes to quality interaction.  Quality relationships, whether with customers or the public at large, can determine long-run success.

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