Monday, October 24, 2011

5 Key Elements of Social Media Success

Each month, people spend the equivalent of 1.3 million years on Facebook. That’s a lot.

But it’s no wonder: we spend a lot of time on Facebook and other social media because we can do a lot – stay in touch with family and friends, stay up-to-date on news and, for many businesses, stay in front of customers and prospects.

For B2B marketers, however, there are still many questions about what to do with social media and how to do it. Fortunately, answering many of these questions – on best practices, strategies, etc. – was the mission of the recent PR + Social Media Summit (#PRSMS) I attended at Marquette University.

The all-day summit featured 15 sessions jam-packed with valuable information, but here are five of the most interesting takeaways:

1. Content remains key. You need to share valuable content with an honest, transparent voice in order to build an active community that fuels conversation and growth. Make it fun, honest, relevant and valuable. Look for stories that are happening within your organization – stories that your audience can’t find anywhere else – and tell them in a unique way.

2. Social = listening. As much as you need good content, you should still listen more than you talk, answer more than you promote, and above all else, provide value. Listen to answer this question: What does my audience need, and how can I help?

3. Not everything happens online. Develop offline elements to your social programs. Get your teams out in the field to interact with your audiences.

4. Think long term. The greatest value of social media is the ongoing relationship, not the initial interaction.

5. Represent the whole organization. To be effective, social media has to be integrated across all functions to effectively communicate your key messages and address customers’ questions or concerns instantly.

What ingredients do you think are necessary for a recipe of social media success? Ultimately, social media engagement is about proving your value, so audiences will share positive interactions with their networks, encouraging others to turn to you for similar business solutions.

For further reading, you can review some of the summit speakers’ presentations at

1 comment:

Michael Grimaldi said...

Great summary. Thanks.

One more from (as I recall) Augie Ray's presentation: Privacy kills trust. An important reality of SM's impact on communications and human relationships generally.

- Michael Grimaldi, Trozzolo Communications Group Kansas City, Mo.