Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Testing New Social Media

One of the more important points businesses need to take away from any discussion of developing their social networks is that it is a lot of work and it is slow at first.

The payoffs can take time to build, the groups can be cumbersome in getting off the ground, and the media and sites need a dedicated person to experiment with and learn their capabilities. All of these things take time to master, build, and maintain. Anyone can put a Facebook page up or write a few paragraphs for a LinkedIn company profile. But after that's done, what next?

A constant influx of new content is a must. A page with no updates, a page with no new messaging, is a page with no repeat visitors. It's called social networking for a reason. Like they do with a television network, your audience will come to count on you for constant, new programming. Like mingling at a party, you have to keep moving and moving, shaking hands, slapping backs, telling jokes, learning people's names, and making the rounds.

But you can't just stop at your page. You have to get out there in the blogging, instant messaging, profiling world. Go read what other people are saying. Leave interesting comments that track back to your site. Engage in the social world and the social world will come knocking at your door.

So, fresh content is obviously important, but just as much is fearless experimentation. You try some new things and some of those things fail. But this is good. Failure is instructive, provided it's not a magnificently massive Epic Fail. You put up your Twitter feed and no one follows you. Weeks and weeks go by and nothing. Zilch. Why not? What are you doing wrong? What can you be doing better? Are you following anyone? Are you sending them messages?

Learning what works and what doesn't, you cull from your trials and you hone your messaging strategies down to what works for you, your organization, your industry. Even regular users of various social media platforms don't know and can't keep up with every little wrinkle.

Get out there and mix it up. Have some fun. Learn some new tricks. Meet some new people. Social media is the future. In an ever more and more plugged in world, you can't afford to be left out of the conversation. You can't afford to be left behind.

Just don't kid yourself that it's a part-time job.

Want to learn more about how social media and social networking can help out your business? Contact The David Group and we'll show you the ropes.

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