(Ok, in an effort to break the gobs of information that I ingested over a 3 hour period at the CEDIA Social Media Forum - here's Part 2 of my takeaways from this experience. Much of the info was provided by the presenters and the forum panelists, so all credit where credit is due, the following is how I'm interpreting it.)
Part 1 of my recap of the Social Media conclave talked about, who should you consider taking the reins of your Social Media plans for world domination. And option one was, dude, pay someone to do it. If you picked option one, well you sure don't need me yapping at you, so....
*BUT* if you picked another option and you've decided that either A) You didn't want to hire someone for various reasons to do your Social Media marketing or B) You're not ready to lay out the dinero for something that you're not really sure if there's going to be any tangible return on your investement other than "Woo Hoo! I've now got 1000 Facebook Friends"
Apart from having a gajillion people to play Farmville with, now that you're diving into Social Media, the question posed is: How? Well based on what I heard, here's one of the most basic rules as a business you should be following when it comes to Social Media:
Be Authentic aka "Don't Be That Guy" (And yeah I'm talking to you Reed Hastings of Neflix)
I know this one seems to be blatantly obvious, but it's pretty amazing how many examples I see *daily* on twitter or facebook or any variety of services where I'm feeling "talked at" by whichever company is pushing out their social media "message". For example in recent news, Netflix's sincere approach at apologizing for "messing up"? Yeah, not so much - respect your audience, it's amazing how much a little humility and good will go a long way in terms of people believing your message.
Which goes into the next part - being authentic is about wanting to be of service, being a resource, and being an interesting destination for information, this is NOT the place for you to be making the hard sell.
I will repeat, Social Media is NOT the place for the hard sell, if you're planning on using twitter as a clearing house for your "everything must go" sales, you are going to fail, and fail miserably in my opinion.
So how can you be authentic? Here's some tips...
So there you go, some simple rules of how you should be putting out your Social Message, and it's a lot easier said than done. The good news is that if you're participating honestly and genuinely, you'll find amazing responses from the people you're interracting with over the digital airwaves.
Next Up - The nuts and bolts of Social Media broadcasting - Content is King and Establishing a Social Media Policy & Assessing it.