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C-Level Social Media | SocialMedia404 May 13, 2009

Posted by Richard Shatto in Social Media.
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Just discovered John Sheridan and his SocialMedia404 site. It’s chock full of great articles and resources regarding social media. Go visit John’s site and I think you’ll agree John has great insight on the good, the bad and the ugly of social media.

Thanks John and I look forward to meeting you in person sometime soon.

To read more of what John has to say, read below or go to his website: http://www.socialmedia404.com/

The Five Fallacies of Social Media

1. It’s just greasy kid stuff.

Nope. Social media is pervasive. Over 84% of Canadians visit social networks today. It may not surprise you to know that 18-34 year olds spend more time on the internet than listening to the radio or watching TV.

But in March 2009, Neilsen Ratings reported there are now more people who belong to social networks (66.8%) than people who use email (65.1%). Fastest growing demographic? Women over 55.

2. It’s just marketing.

Social media now pervades every aspect of life, in the real world, on the web, on your phone. It will affect every part of your organization too. Remember buying your first office computer? Using a spreadsheet? Sending an e-mail? Can you imagine doing business without those tools today?

Social media gets a lot of press for its potential in public relations and marketing. That is just the tip of the iceberg.

3. No one I know uses social media.

That’s probably because you don’t use social media. But your customers and your competition probably are. Most companies are still looking for the right formula. But they are experimenting, adjusting, and succeeding. They are starting to learn, and a few are already gaining competitive advantage.

Successful CEO’s look ahead, and get there first.

4. Social media is free.

The tools are mostly free to use, true. But you already know, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Even reading this article is costing money. Like anything worth doing, it takes time, effort and investment to do it right. Spend on planning, measurement and sustainment.

You don’t need to spend a lot to learn, since even small projects can provide large benefits.

5. It’s easy. Anyone can do it.

Sure, and anyone could do your job, too. Yeah, right. Pick a strategist who knows social mediaand business, to help you integrate the benefits and navigate the risks for your organization. Approach it like everything else you tackle: make clear targeted objectives, and measure results.

Ask tough questions. Demand great answers. Seek expert advice.


Your Five Tough Questions for Social Media Strategists


1. Do you have a process?

Your strategist should be able to explain clearly, and logically, how they will help you plan and implement social media for you. It should make sense, and speak to you in a language you can understand.

Our OASIS Best Practices, now licensed under Creative Commons, is an internationally recognized framework for Social Media.

2. Is this your specialty?

Sure, you can buy food at a drug store now. But we’re guessing that’s not where you do your weekly groceries shop. If your strategist provides a wide range of services, are they really good at all of them?

We are recognized herehere, and here as a dedicated Social Media agency. We do one thing, and we do it best.

3. Do you follow your own advice?

Do a little digging on your own for this one. We’ve run into web marketers with no web site, search engine experts you can’t find with Google, and social media guru’s who have no presence in any social space. They don’t practice what they preach, they preach what they read. Ask them about how they use social media themselves, and what the results have been. Ask for numbers.

Catch a glimpse of ours here.

4. Have you done this before?

Ask for case studies and examples of social media work related and/or similar to what you are trying to do. Ask your strategist to walk you through the process they used, and what the results were. Look for experience that pre-dates the current social media frenzy.

Our experience in online, interactive social architecture dates back to the early 1990’s.

5. Do you do anything besides marketing? PR? Technology?

Marketing is only one function of your organization, and only one aspect of your business that you have an eye on. Your strategist needs knowledge and experience in business planning, financial, human resources, customer service, product management, technology, and all the other moving parts of business that you understand. Without that awareness, the social media strategist can never be “on the same page” as you.

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