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The Social Way to a Communications Strategy 

The Social Way to a Communications Strategy

The Social Way to a Communications Strategy 8/18/2011
By Donna Fluss
inContact Blog

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This is the second post in the customer service/contact center social media blog series. This post is intended to provide guidance in building a social media communications strategy for your organization and customer service or contact center. An important aspect of rolling out social media is deciding which channels to use. Below is a list of the 10 leading business social media channels, along with guidance on when and how to use each of them. DMG cautions enterprises to carefully consider each channel before jumping in. A channel should not be used if you’re not willing or able to make the necessary time and resource commitment, as providing stale information, not participating in conversations on a timely basis, and failing to respond to the community’s comments and questions annoys users more than not having a presence at all. Keep in mind that these are just guidelines, and part of the fun and challenge of the social world is that things change at a rapid rate.

Social Media Descriptions and Usage

Social Media Channel

Description

When to Use

Facebook
  • Currently the leading social network site
  • Provides a place where people interested in your products or brand can post information and discuss the products
  • Encourages continuous visitation by constantly putting up new content and pictures that your viewing audience will find compelling
  • Gathers feedback from those interested enough to post on your Facebook page
  • Used as a place to promote products to a group of interested fans
LinkedIn
  • Professional networking site
  • Helps maintain professional contacts
  • Useful for finding job applicants and business opportunities
  • Displays professional activities and links to your content
  • Opportunity to demonstrate expertise by participating in well-defined discussion groups
  • Can start and maintain your own discussion group
Twitter
  • A micro-blogging site
  • Messages sent only to your specific “followers”
  • Each Tweet is limited to 140 characters
  • Allows you to build a social media tribe with which to maintain a continuous conversation
  • Enables a variety of separate conversations to be maintained with different communities
  • Can be used to build and promote a brand image
  • Provides a forum for immediate customer feedback
  • Can be used to “get the word out” to loyal followers in case of a crisis
YouTube
  • Leading video sharing site
    (owned by Google)
  • Post “how-to” product demonstrations
  • Share videos of customers using your products
  • Sponsor video content that attracts your target audience
  • Post discussions and Q and A sessions from employees or experts promoting your enterprise or products
MySpace
  • Social networking site
  • Current focus is on communities for music and video
  • Forum to promote recorded music, movies, TV shows, etc.
  • Each band/offering can have its own page and provide news, videos, music cuts, and fan chat
Tumblr
  • A micro-blogging platform
  • Mostly used to share images
  • Share brief multimedia posts
  • Users can post pictures, animations, video, audio clips, etc.
  • Simple to use
Google+
  • New social networking site from Google
  • Still in beta test
  • Good for setting up networking “circles” to share information
  • Presents image of being cutting edge by leaping on what may be the next “big thing”
Blogs
  • A website where one or more individuals post information, opinions, links, pictures, videos etc., usually in chronological order
  • Name from “web log”
  • Gives your organization a human face
  • Helps build a digital tribe for your organization by giving it a home base
  • Provides a place to post information about new products, address customer concerns and list promotions
  • Provides a forum for public and customer feedback
Community forums/ message boards
  • A website where a “community” can discuss various topics and answer questions for other participants
  • Discussion areas are usually defined by the forum/board owner
  • Used to answer questions about your products or other areas of expertise
  • Can build your brand by actively participating in relevant communities and sharing useful information
  • Opportunity to gather information from a community of users that is discussing products or other topics of interest
Customer comments
  • A portion of a website where customers rate and discuss specific products
  • Often associated with product pages on eCommerce websites
  • Used to collect feedback about your product
  • See what competitors’ customers are saying about them

Source: DMG Consulting LLC, August 2011

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