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Sailing the Waters of Social Media

Written on Sep 06 2012

Social media is probably the biggest connection-building project in human history. People have been attracted to the internet’s communication power from the very beginning, but at the same time are still unsure of how the social dynamics of it work.

If you are afraid of getting your business into social media, it is because you have to deal with a new factor: the factor of staying connected.

In one of his recent blog posts, Seth Godin stated that:

“In the connection economy, there’s a dividing line between two kinds of projects: those that exist to create connections, and those that don’t.

The internet is a connection machine. Virtually every single popular web project (eBay, Facebook, chat, email, forums, etc.) exists to create connections between humans that were difficult or impossible to do before the web.”

The decision to strike up a conversation with your online followers is a lot like traveling on a sailboat. You can calculate the exact location of your destination and plan out a map (brand / communication strategy). You keep on track by using a compass (social insight / analytical data).

The only thing that you cannot control is the wind!

Navigating in social media means that you have to change your course dynamically. This requires you to take into account how the winds blow, the state of the tide and, of course, what the compass is indicating.

Social media strategies are as much about informed execution as they are about setting up sound directions. Achieving informed execution means staying connected to your followers and customers.

This can be explained using a few metaphors:

Keep the Lighthouse Visible

Set up a clear channel of communication between the people who plan the communication strategy and the people who execute the actual campaign. Connecting on social media starts with connecting your internal team.

Then, connect all your social media channels. Do you already have a website? Don’t forget to link it to your Facebook or LinkedIn account!

 

Have a Good Map (with at least two routes)

Make a conversational plan.

Clearly define your objectives and constantly measure your progress on the social media map. Always take into consideration the dynamics of social media.

Allow yourself to change the course of conversation along the way! Have two tones of conversation in mind and use them accordingly.

 

Pick the Right Sailors

You should look for the best people to help you navigate the waters of social media. Executing a social strategy demands precise skills. You need to know the platform, know your audience, and understand the objective and the metrics involved.

The ability to connect and steer the conversation is a must!

 

Lifesavers

Seasoned sailors in social media can help you overcome your fear of the water.

For example, if the winds should turn against you (and sometimes they do!), don’t sail against the current! Prepare a few pre-emptive strategies ready without making it seem like retreat. Staying connected to social media is a key lifesaver that will always give you insight into trends and how you should communicate your business.

 

When you tell us about your business, tell us first how it’s going to help us connect.

The rest will take care of itself.

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