From @HeidiCohen: Social Media Format Options

Quick glance graph at Pros and Cons of five tops Social Media formats.

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To ensure your social media initiative succeeds, here are five must-haves, regardless of selection.

  1. Brand monitoring. In today’s 24/7 news cycle, you must constantly check what’s being said about your firm, products and brands. To this end, you must have a crisis-management plan in place, ready to roll out if the need arises. It’s like hiring a lifeguard for your pool.

  1. Social media guidelines. Ensure everyone in your organization understands what he or she can and can’t do as a representative of your firm with a set of social media guidelines. Even highly regulated pharmaceutical organizations, such Roche Holding, have them. Like most public swimming pools, you should post your social media guidelines before anyone goes swimming.

  1. Commitment. With social media, you must show up regularly and participate. Social media interaction requires real people representing your firm with a human voice. It must be integrated into an employee’s job, not something that gets done when the person has time. To this end, it’s a good idea to have a social media contingency plan.

  1. Content strategy. Because social media feed on fresh content, it’s critical to have a continuous supply of information that goes beyond promotion. To accomplish this, use an editorial calendar to ensure you have a constant flow of content.

  1. Marketing support. Like any other business initiative, you must let prospects, customers and the public know about your social media presence. Use existing communications to market your social media. This includes your website, e-mail newsletters, offline communications such as fliers and direct mail, in-store signage and one-to-one customer interaction such as bills and customer-service notices.

Then, dip your toe in the social media waters by selecting one major platform as a starting point. To help you decide which network, here are the pros and cons of the top five social media options.




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