I spoke on an APSMA panel this morning on social media, and specifically how law firms and professional services firms could engage: “To Tweet or not to Tweet”…
The gist of my points was to step back from the technology, and instead, examine the overall business/online strategy, the users and from there, to define and plan how social media might fit. It’s like ‘Web 2.0’ and ‘RSS’ and every other term that frightens the living crap out of marketers… social media is not a new thing, it’s merely where web publishing and users are evolving too.
A few points I covered:
- Social Media is just another form of web publishing; its characteristics are slightly different in that it breaks from the usual ‘unidirectional’ style of publishing to one that is:
- Often-two way
- Conversational and honest
- Businesses should not get caught up in the hype and technology, and instead, focus on:
- Their objectives; and
- Their clients/customers and what they genuinely want online.
- In other words, don’t start Twitter for sake of Twittering. Work out what you need and then look where your audiences are.
- First mover advantage is not central, though those who move quickly, reap the benefits.
- Define a social media policy and roadmap; change takes time and baby steps are a great way to start.
- Stick with it, because nothing is immediate.
- Always focus on the best, most beneficial content. You get what you pay for.
- Be realistic… big businesses take time to steer. Show benefits of new policies and communication channels to get buy-in and show relevance.
- Invest in reputation monitoring software.