Lesson: One Is Enough We all know social media can be overwhelming, even for those who work with it daily. One of the main contentions people have with social media is that it tends to be a time drain. If a company has accounts on six different social networks, but a limited amount of time, it's hard to update everywhere.
Jansen has put together a slide show about ways to connect updates from one social network to another; his example shows how to relay a Twitter update to LinkedIn. Programs like Digsby or Ping.fm that update multiple accounts at once are great for users short on time; one update is all you need to reach your networks.
Lesson: Planning is Key An easy step to skim over, planning the goals and messages of your marketing campaign is an essential foundation. As Chalmers says, "Often marketers will blame a particular marketing tactic when really it was the message. You need to know what your goals are, who your customers are and what they want, before you even begin an effective marketing campaign."
A good foundation now could mean a better ROI in the future, as long as you are willing to continue to review, reassess and evolve the campaign in line with your company's goals and your customers' needs.
Lesson: Blog Without A Blog In her article, Barone gives advice on how to start guest blogging, or writing one-time posts for others blogs. She suggests contacting bloggers already in your network, doing Technorati and Google searches for blogs relevant to your industry, and finding user generated blogs.
You may not have be ready or have time for your own blog, but as Barone points out in her article, writing blog posts for others can be just as good for exposure, driving traffic, and thought leadership- and it takes less time than maintaining a blog yourself, you just have to do a little research.
Lesson: Build It, and They Might Come (If You Promote It) Not all companies have leaped into the new media craze with the same vigor of companies like Zappos, Comcast and Dunkin' Donuts. But in this video, Christopher Penn, cofounder of Podcamp, talks about why he feels more businesses should reach out throught podcasting.
Whether audio or visual, Penn says podcasting can be a great medium of communication for companies whose messages may not translate as well in print. Penn gives the example of a cooking show: audio may not be a good option, but video is an effective way of promoting a company or brand by teaching viewers about new foods and sharing recipes.
Lesson: Focus On Interaction, Not Numbers Many companies boast large numbers of followers, friends and fans on social networking sites. In her blog post, Saratovsky discusses how these seemingly high numbers can actually translate into a low amount of interaction, with most activity being more like a "broadcast" rather than a conversation.
This comparison proves that numbers can mean very little if a company is not effectively communicating its message and interacting with its network. It's the old adage of placing the emphasis on "quality, not quantity."