There are so many different ways to use social media, so many platforms to consider, so many tools to connect with your audience and so many variations on the content a brand can create, I figured it might help to simplify things into five easy to remember approaches. So here they are.
The James Cagney
Like Cagney with a machine gun, this is the spray-and-pray approach. Stick up a fan page, post some stuff on Twitter, upload some videos to YouTube and hope for the best. Given the millions of people visiting those social networking and content sites every day someone’s bound to see at least some of your stuff.
The Woody Allen
As Woody said, 90 percent of success in life is just showing up. So what the heck, just get out there, anywhere, hang around, have a conversation, participate, engage, see what happens. Wing it a little, make a few friends and hey, at least you can say you’re using social media.
The Ed Wood
What, you’ve never made a viral video? That doesn’t matter. If Ed Wood can make a movie, you can make a viral video. Get a camera, stick in a cassette and point it at anything you think is funny. Chances are if you think it’s funny other people will think it’s funny. Simply stick your masterpiece on YouTube or Vimeo and before you know it 1,000,000 people, give or take a few zeroes, will hit play.
The Edward L Bernays
OK, let’s get little serious for a moment. This is the PR approach to social media. You come up with an angle, an insight, the results of a survey, synthesize them into a sound bite and pitch it to bloggers, micro-bloggers and twittering journalists. They’ll appreciate not having to generate any content themselves and gladly pass it on as if it’s news.
The George Washington
Media companies like this one. Take out the wallet and pay for presence. Stick an ad on Facebook or YouTube, or a popular blog. Or maybe buy some search results. Hey, why do any work, manual labor or ongoing maintenance when you can just fork the cash over to Google or Yahoo? It’s still called social media, right?
Of course you could always do it the right way. Determine exactly what your audience is looking for (entertainment, information, community); develop a strategy; create relevant content; build a brand network platform; and construct a “a cone of connection” that has engagers at the bottom and influencers at the top. That will probably work a lot better.
Comments? Thoughts? Ideas for what makes a great social media program? Please share them.