Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The 3 C's of Social Media Marketing

I'm often asked to explain social media and how it can work for a business.

I haven't yet figured out how to do it as concisely as a 30-second elevator speech, but here are 3 key elements (condensed) that convey the concepts. I call them the 3C's of Social Media Marketing.

The 3 C's are: Connect, Communicate and Convert.

Connect: The 1st step involves connecting with others and expanding your network of contacts. Whether they are other professionals in your field, your competitors, your customers or clients, it's important to expand your network. Depending on your business and your goals, Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin offer excellent platforms on which to connect. Keep in mind they are not 'one size fits all.' First try to determine which site(s) your customers or clients are using. Each site has a different 'feel' and set of accepted practices so it's important to determine will one(s) serve you best.

Communicate: This is the 2nd step. Having a network of contacts doesn't accomplish anything if you don't communicate with the goal of developing relationships. Developing relationships is key since your contacts aren't going to be interested in hearing from you if your only interactions are about your product or service. Engage your contacts by consistently providing them with something they perceive to be of value. Consistency works to keep the relationship on-going and if you can involve your connections in a community, that will engage them even more.

Convert: This is the 3rd step. Connecting and Communicating pave the way for you to 'close the deal.' Each business has its own goals for social media marketing so they'll have their own way to measure conversion success.

If steps 1 & 2 don't lead to conversion, then it's time to re-examine the goals and the process - keeping in mind that building a network and relationships takes time and consistency.

Do you agree? disagree? Please share your thoughts.

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