In order to guarantee sustainability for your Social Media and online communications, you need to have thoroughly thought through five simple yet key questions.
1) When did the Social Media game start?
Social Media has been around forever, just in many different formats. Since biblical times we have seen examples of the "power to connect and engage" with each other, in the same way this is displayed through Social Media.
But today Social Media has taken on a very high profile and all-important role in a new age world of super-highway information, with a 24-7 world of Twitter where we clock-in and clock off on a ticker-tape way of life.
2) How should we be playing the game?
The most important thing to note is that the game is there to be played, not won! It's about communicating and sharing. It is about connecting and engaging with your network and building powerful relationships 24-7 while creating your very own social environment to communicate with other like-minded people. The rules are simple:
With these four we can start the ball rolling, the rest will follow on; if and only if we follow these simple four steps of course. Other important elements are to invest in people and influence them; but do not forget to let you be influenced too by others' best practice. Life is all about sharing and learning, so is business - in particular Social Business.
3) Is it Social Marketing or Social Media Marketing?
Both terms are used often; however Social Media Marketing is correct if we look at Social Media from a marketing perspective.
Social Media needs breaking down for better understanding and ultimately best practice. It is social, it is media! Social Media is a two way avenue, whereas marketing usually tends to be one way with quite a few things attached.
4) Why Social Media communications and not Social Media Marketing?
As soon as we talk about marketing people switch off and see the messages as spam; whereas if we see Social Media as a communication channel, we start talking and interacting with people. This is what encourages people to listen and engage.
People are on Social Media to communicate with one another and of course sometimes to find out more about other people's experience with brands. Brands can in a way use the medium for their marketing purposes, but in a smart and creative fashion.
When it comes to Social Media, it is not about marketing, it is all about communications; so better to use the term Social Media communications.
5) What does Social Media best practice mean?
Social Media best practice is about the sense of transparent and ethical communications we should be developing; and indeed all about an ethos and integrity of operation. It is something that develops in its own time and way, naturally and with an embryonic growth that needs nurturing by us all.
Hence, Social Media has always been with us, technology has just made it more accessible. So it should not be a surprise if I say, Social Media has lived with us throughout history. Below I display my reasoning...
Before modern day society, we know that there were:
Stories about cavemen
The engraving of images and symbols on the walls of caves
The use of basic sounds to communicate
Today, with the presence of technology and innovation, we have:
Residential and holiday homes
Graffiti as well as creative graphics and illustration
Languages and psychological analysis
Storytelling and conversations are not anything new; in fact storytelling and conversations began when human kind acknowledged they cannot live and progress without communication and interaction. We have been constantly and in a way consistently looking for ways to improve our communication skills; our first words were sounds and we were alerting each other through smoke.
Now, we receive alerts via Google Alert and some of most sophisticated algorithms behind monitoring and listening tools for brand reputation management. Mobile technology, videos and pictures are increasingly becoming other sources of communications; transformation of languages I would call it.
You may ask 'what is the best practice in this ever changing and evolving space and what is the best possible Social Media brand positioning?' Fair questions! A short but effective answer to both questions lie on two simple models (which work best when combined), regardless of your industry and size of your business:
At last, never forget commitment and consistency upon implementing HTC and LCD Models.
Now, may I invite you to share your thoughts, arguments and comments with everyone about what you just read?
Follow Ehsan Khodarahmi on Twitter: www.twitter.com/eksays