A BEST-PRACTICE PROCESS in SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING is the following:
1. IDENTIFY your customer by doing a writing/drawing/brainstorming project wherein you describe 5 DIFFERENT members of that audience.
2. CREATE THE SOCIAL GRAPH: Generate keywords from those descriptions and use the Google External Keyword Search + any number of paid/free social monitoring tools to create an initial social graph of where these 5 members locate. Buy these posters, laminate them and put them on your wall as MAPS of INFLUENCE in the social web! http://www.theconversationprism.com/
3. OBSERVE and STUDY: Go to the locations on these maps and study the behaviors and likes of YOUR AUDIENCE there!
4. DESIGN: Design your offering in a way that matches OR exceeds what ATTRACTS those individuals. CREATE CONTENT THAT WILL FIT IN THE CONTEXT OF YOUR AUDIENCE!
5. GO LIVE: Take the microsite (blog) and social footprint live. Use WordPress, Posterous, Blogger or Drupal as the platform for your microsite (each has their benefit depending on your technical skill level and time available). In terms of social properties, set up in Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr and Slideshare. Add to these from your research project above and through studying the maps from The Conversation Prism, basing your decision upon contexts populated by YOUR key influencers, customers and community.
6. SOCIALIZE: Use the following sequence as a model for populating the microsite AND social footprint WITH content: http://bit.ly/the_cycle_of_social_spread
7. GET INTIMATE AND GIVE POWER AWAY TO YOUR AUDIENCE! BRING THEM ONSTAGE: Respond to all comments AND build content from your feedback. Create a virtuous cycle by LISTENING and then creating content from what you hear…crowdsourcing a percentage of your content WILL reap HUGE rewards in terms of buzz because your audience wants to get up on stage WITH you! Imagine one man on stage at the outset and then see more and more people JOINING you on stage. This is an image of how crowdsourcing works. Find a great resource on current crowdsourcing examples here: http://bit.ly/THE_crowdsourcing_LIST
IN A NUTSHELL:
LISTENING, STRATEGY, ACTION
LEARN MORE by following this trail meme on social media monitoring and brand creation: http://trailmeme.com/trails/social_media_monitoring or use this Rollyo Targeted Search Window that focuses solely on social media monitoring. Awakening the Heroes Within: Twelve Archetypes to Help Us Find Ourselves and Transform Our World is an EXCELLENT book on Archetypes and very helpful in terms of identifying HOW your key influencers may accelerate your audience’s awareness of your offering to the extent that a REAL contribution is made to the world.