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Monetizing Social Media
It's Your Data, You Should Use It!
Social Media is a lot like attending a business conference. As you stroll around the conference you pick up little pieces of conversations while keeping an ear open to what interests you. Once you find a group discussing topics that are to your liking and suit your expertise, you can easily interject and introduce yourself into the conversation. Social Media for business is a business conference that’s always going. Even better, there are always new people walking in the door!
So now your business is in social and you're wondering, “Why are we doing this? What is the purpose?” Today's business demands that you keep abreast of current events and quickly changing markets. Social is a great place to catch wind of new ideas. However, there is a flip side. All these networks are gathering information about their users. Some think this may be a bad thing-- but when it comes to business it's valuable information.
1) Learn Your Demographics
This can only be done through the data shared by your Followers. Don't have many Followers? Then you need to get them. And don’t just join Facebook or Twitter expecting it to happen overnight! Be patient; because once you have enough Followers, you can gain insights into their interests, age, gender and (potentially) education and industry.
2) Define Your Marketscape
Once you begin to gather data, you begin to learn more about your market. However, you'll need to separate the wheat from the chaff. You may gain Followers to your social channels that aren't aligned with your target demographic. Now is the time to ask yourself: “Is my business targeting the wrong marketscape? Or is my social voice not properly tuned to my target audience?
3) Target Your Message
As your audience grows, your data evolves; you must refine, test, and analyze this data to turn it into useful and actionable information. This is how you create your business' social "voice". Without a clear and focused social voice that aligns with your company's personality, you will quickly lose your audience.
4) Create Meaningful Social Engagement
Now that you've targeted your message and identified your voice, you can begin to create more personal relationships. These personal relationships can take the form of direct social connections, invitations to social networking events, or business meetings. With relevant data in-hand, you can begin to identify your audience and their social roles. Are they a Buyer? Or are they an Influencer? How are they connected to the decision makers your business is trying to reach?
5) Analyze the Data
This is only possible after successful completion of steps 1 - 4! If you don't know your audience, haven't clearly defined your marketscape and messaging and have inconsistent social engagement, useful data will not be at your fingertips. Your demographics will be skewed, which in turn, will distract from your message and so on and so on... (Are you beginning to see why you don't want to just gather any old "Like" or “Follower” now?)
When you have clear data, you can compile it and carve out the core information that is the most useful to your greater business goals. This is the powerful business intelligence gained from Social Media!
6) Link Directly With Your Customers!
Don't forget, social is just the first step to making meaningful in-person connections! Now that you have this great business intelligence, it will allow you to refine your business focus, enhance product offerings and better connect with your customers and clients. Don't think social is the end game - you MUST take action and make the final sale yourself!
So are you ready to jump into social the right way-- by creating meaningful interaction? After all, twitter didn't get their slogan, "Join the Conversation" from the back of a cereal box… (at least we don't think so...)