Ten “Easy” Questions About Social Media

social-media

I was asked to participate in a panel presentation today about social media with two other savvy individuals – Tommy Inglis of Xpositioning and Dr. Bret L. Simmons  from Positive Organizational Behavior.  The three of us sat in front of a fairly young crowd – I’d say 40-50 people total, with a daunting task.  Answering these ten questions:

  1. What are the best tactics to use?
  2. How do I measure the effectiveness of social media?
  3. Where do I start?
  4. How do I manage the social balance?
  5. What are the best sites and tools out there?
  6. How do I make the most of my available time?
  7. How do I find and focus my efforts on my target audience?
  8. How do I convert my social media marketing efforts into tangible results?
  9. How do I cohesively tie different social media efforts together?
  10. Does social media marketing work, and if so, how effective is it?

Each of us approached these questions from our own, unique perspectives.  Tommy’s work with Xpositioning is very focused on social media for businesses.  Dr. Simmons, as you can see from his site, is an accomplished advocate of leadership and management skills and processes, while I think I represented a more overall marketing-centric approach to social media.

What fascinated me was our agreement on so many key levels.  First, establishing a strong brand platform and message before venturing out to any social media campaign.  And secondly, tailoring that campaign to very specific markets with a consistency in messaging and process to build a community around the brand.

I had to seek a bit of clarification for a few of them in order to position my answer correctly, as some of the questions are very broad in scope.  A few terms, like “tactics” could mean quite a few things – but our discussion helped clarify the context of the question itself.

All this lead to my wondering…how would you answer these basic ten questions about social media today?

8 Responses to “Ten “Easy” Questions About Social Media”

  1. matthewbooks Says:

    What are the best tactics to use? Depends on the brand identity.

    How do I measure the effectiveness of social media? Please tell me how you measure word of mouth. The only thing that comes to mind is to look for a trend in increased average site traffic against last years data if there is any.

    Where do I start? Community, community, community.

    How do I manage the social balance? You’re going to have to enlighten me as to the meaning of this one.

    What are the best sites and tools out there? I tell everyone that there is so much potential with Twitter and it’s competitors I’ve yet to find anything with as much integration as Twitter.

    How do I make the most of my available time? Integration of services across platforms, when it comes to social media anyway.

    How do I find and focus my efforts on my target audience? Here I think the old school method of demographics really helps.

    How do I convert my social media marketing efforts into tangible results? Got me there.

    How do I cohesively tie different social media efforts together? I’m going with integration again from question 6.

    Does social media marketing work, and if so, how effective is it? I think it works a lot better than people give it credit for and I also think there is some sort of inherent fear of the power it gives to an anonymous negative user. I would say ask mountain dew how well their cross platform campaign went with World of Warcraft. An MMOG being a virtual world and a definite source of social media.

  2. Larry DeVincenzi Says:

    Excellent answers (and some of my questions about the meaning of the question). Spot on. Thanks Matthew.

  3. Mike McDowell Says:

    Do we get to see YOUR answers to each of these questions, or will they be revealed later? : )

  4. Larry DeVincenzi Says:

    There’s a long video of my answers somewhere out there Mike. You know the drill…it’s all about the context of the question. My answers may be revealed on YouTube…and if they are, I’ll be sure to share them (and then run and hide!).

  5. Clint Jolly Says:

    I don’t feel like I could answer all of the questions with authority. But, I can say from my own observations that many small businesses miss the “social” segment of this media. I don’t think it’s about pushing a message as much as it is about having a conversation.
    To me it should be similar to face to face networking, with it’s own set of pros and cons.
    I wish I could have made the discussion today but I had other plans- next time!

  6. sorg Says:

    Larry, really great.. really wish I paid attention to the fact that this was happening.. I’m assuming you called attention to it before happening. Quickly just one thing I’d like to comment on.. the tactics thing. There are tactics and there is strategy.. that’s war, that’s Lao Tzu, it’s business, it’s life, it’s popularity, it’s branding.

    Tactics win the battle, Strategy wins the war. Tactics would be things such as using Fanpages on FB with their analytics benefits, and off the top of my head, spreading the word about TwitPics and desktop applications to see inline video, etc.

    One I’m big on is advertising, straight up, on these platforms and the social aspect of it’s downfall. Mixing in personal insights, related linking, etc.. and I can’t stress it enough WE ARE A VISUAL CULTURE.. people want to know what the event is going to FEEL like, not just the names & dates.

    Also, Logos are not pictures.

  7. Larry DeVincenzi Says:

    Thanks Chad,

    It was an interesting panel. Three viewpoints with similar outcomes. When that happens, there must be a thread of truth between us, no matter how much we vary. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Ira Gostin Says:

    Clint, you nailed it. It’s about having a conversation with your customer.


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