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Building Social Media Platforms for Growing Brands

By: Heather Smith
Posted: July 6, 2009, from the July 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 3 of 6

There are four basic elements of making social media flow for your business. As mentioned earlier, the first step is to listen to the conversation. There are many free social media sites and social media book marking tools out there that allow you to monitor what is being said about your company, product, brand and, perhaps most important, your competitors—Twitter, Delicious (www.delicious.com) and Facebook are among them. Listening will be the foundation for your social media marketing strategy.

Secondly, be sure to engage potential customers with interesting and informative branding statements. Third, monitor and filter these tools to be efficient. The numbers of users across all social media are staggering, so creating efficiency is vital. Take advantage of tools and applications to post your message in one place and have it automatically disseminated across all the social media accounts you use. Finally, create your plan and schedule and stick to it. There is simply no better spend of your marketing dollars than on a plethora of free social media tools.

Three Popular Mediums

There are many social media sites available, and many will fulfill the needs of your brand, the niche in which you operate and your target consumers. The number of users on these sites is growing exponentially, so find your community. There are three sites that are strong bases from which to build a social media platform.

Twitter

Twitter tops the list based on its sheer growth and ability to connect to so many people. Twitter can be very effective to promote something online and get it noticed immediately. Twitter is where you have the best shot to go viral. In addition, Twitter is a fabulous means of providing pertinent updates and interesting news to the followers of your “tweets”—keeping them involved.

Start by using search.twitter.com and hash tags to monitor what people are saying about your brand, your competition and the space or category you are in as a whole. Setting up a desktop application and a handful of these focused searches will really contextualize things and make your Twitter efforts efficient and effective.