Sunday, July 11, 2010

10 Questions to Determine If You're Using Social Media "Right"

The words "Social Media" have become as common as "cell phone" or "online marketing." And, like so much else related to digital forms of communication, there's a tremendous amount of snake oil being sold as panaceas for your ailing business.

Here's a simple checklist to determine if your business is getting the maximum benefit from your social media use.

Do you answer when people talk to you?

Do other people answer when you talk to them?

Do you talk about topics other than yourself or your business?

Do your status updates look like a conversation?

Do your status updates include questions that encourage answers?

When someone complains that they did not get good service from you, do you respond quickly?

Do you respond to people on the same social network platform they commented on in the first place?

Do you allow open and free discussion on your social media profiles? (For instance, is your Wall open to comment on Facebook?)

Do you follow up with people after you have spoken with them?

Are your followers/friends/fans/likes increasing?


1-4 "Yes" answers

Your use of Social Media is not Optimal

Social Media requires good interaction to be successful. You may have profiles or pages on all the hottest networks, but you're not curating them. The more you interact, the more authentic you seem. The more authentic you are, the more people will want to interact!

Take a few moments and prioritize your Social Media presence. Focus on one or two places where you can realistically spend time with your customers and cultivate relationships with them. In 6 months, retake this test and see how far you've come!

5-7 "Yes" answers

Your Use of Social Media is Good

You've got the basics down and you're putting your best foot forward most of the time. You're busy, so sometimes maybe you miss something, but you're doing your best.

Take a long look at a few of the spaces that aren't really getting much return. Maybe it's time to let go of an old profile or network. One of your spaces might just be full of unmoderated spam and it's time to trim it. Don't just get rid of the old, though- your mailing list may still be the best conversation in town. Just be ready to let go of something that's not working and focus on what is.

8-10 "Yes" answers

Congratulations, you are doing Social Media "Right"!

You understand that responding quickly and politely to issues means there's no time for those unresolved issues to fester into resentment. You understand that being where your audience is means you can convert them to becoming your market. And you understand that talking with people is more than just talking about yourself.

Don't get cocky, though - there's always room for improvement. Take that excellent Social Media Strategy and turn it into something exciting for you and your followers!

Use these ten questions as a quick health check of your Social Media presence on any platform - you can even ask your followers to take the test for you and see if you and they have the same feelings about your Social Media use.
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