Questions to ask about your business on social media: We're now on question 5 in this series. Previously we've asked What does our business hope to accomplish? and What social media accounts do we now have, how active are they, and what problems do they have? and Who's going to maintain, feed and grow these accounts? and What are the communications skills and weaknesses of the social media leaders in our company? Today we move on to the next question:
How will we integrate social media into the overall communications strategy of our company?
Initially, Facebook, Twitter and the rest were often referred to as "social networking." Then we moved on to the term "social media." The first phrase is actually more accurate in the business world. You're trying to connect with customers and other companies. Think of this the way you do email and phone calls, not the way you do a TV commercial. How do you want to communicate, and how does social networking fit into that plan? Are you mostly a business-to-business company? Do you need to increase sales? Do you want to promote your personal profile? That information should shape all your communications -- including face-to-face. Social networking should dovetail into what you already do. It's not a prefabricated media; it's part of your communications. Make it yours, and connect it to your other approaches.
Ideally social networking should work like an accordion, pulling you together for face-to-face, and keeping you connected as you pull apart.