*This content was previously published on Social Conversations in August 2009. Social conversations was a product of Serengeti Communications which closed in 2012.
With all the hype around so many different types of social media marketing tactics, from Twitter to Friend Feed, it’s tough not to automatically fall into the trap of the “ooooh, we need that too!” Unfortunately for a lot of companies, that lure is too strong and they slap up a Facebook page or a Twitter account without thinking about forming a strategy around it.
Just because the media is hyping how Oprah is using the latest, greatest social media site, doesn’t mean that every business should be doing the same. If your competition has a blog that doesn’t mean that you need to have a blog.
Understanding that marketing in social media is unique to each and every company is a giant step in the right direction of success. No two audiences are the same even if they are competitors. The philosophy of the company, the way employees interact with customers and even the look and feel of a product can all affect who is in your audience. Not only that, audiences online are different than those offline and its likely that you and your competition appeal to two entirely different audiences within the different social media sites.
All of this means that there’s no cookie cutter approach to creating a Social Media Strategy. For every company the approach is unique. Taking the time to do research will help point you in the right direction of where the conversations are, who are the influencers you need to connect with and what should be your success/failure measurements. There’s no out of the box solution for this, every company will have different results and different ways to implement common social media tools and sites.
Don’t fall for the hype of the shiny new social media objects, in the end it actually cost you a lot more than it would to take the time to formulate your own successful social media marketing strategy.