I’ve spoken with a number of clients lately who have all had the same issue; how do I convince my management to start social media in my organization? While there are lots of tips and tools, I would propose the following approach.
First, listen. Get online and start participating in the conversation. You don’t need to say a whole lot, but you do need to listen. If you are starting at square one and want to understand how and where to listen, try this article that provides an overview and some resources on social news sites by area of interest.
Next, or possibly at the same time, you need to do some research. Research your industry and its involvement in social media. What are your peers and competitors doing? Has anyone benefited/been hurt by social media?
There are lots of good sources for research, so I won’t try to list them all but simply focus on a few highlights. Our own list of lists is a good start if you want a broad one stop shop overview. In addition, here are three other sources that will give you a great start.
Universal McCann’s Social Media Research Wave 3 research report looks at 17,000 Internet users in 29 countries and provides a good broad overview of the topic. One highlight in this study is that social media is a powerful tool for managing your brand “34% post opinions about products and brands on their blog and 36% think more positively about companies that have blogs.”
The usage of social media in the Inc. 500 from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research states “Just over one quarter of the Inc. 500 reported social media was very important to their business/marketing strategy in 2007. That number has increased to 44% just one year later.”
Groundswell is one of my favourite social media book written by Charlene Li and Josh Bernhoff. As part of that effort they published the Social Technographics profile tool that offers basic demographics on social media. i often find it useful for creating a demographic backdrop for clients which allows us to start making some useful assumptions about their stakeholders.
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