The new direction today is Web 2.0 and Social Networking. You now need to be on Facebook, linkedin, twitter and a multitude of other networks. But how effective are they? Can a business benefit from these channels and which ones should you try?
First of all dismiss the perception that these social media tools are just for the kids, these kids will become customers, and as Obama said you have to be where your constituents are, and this is where they feel the most comfortable, the techno natives as they are sometimes referred to.
What about us techno immigrants (those who adopted technology later in life) to say even less about those techno luddites (all technology is evil). We have issues with privacy and sometimes don’t even see why anyone would want to use these tools or what reason. The bottom line is that if there is a valid application then the tools become an enabler.
So one needs to look at an application such as collaboration with clients and team members (wikis) or getting to where your customers are (facebook) or disseminating bits of information to a broad base quickly (the blackberry phenomenon) – critical for election campaigns, or keeping in contact with a mobile work force.
It doesn’t take much to find the right application, as long as you have defined objectives for your organization. Look at what you are trying to do then see if there is a match to the Social Media tool kit and try out some of the tools that are available for that application. Most important at this stage is to identify why you need this tool and establish some metrics to see the impact. This can be increased visits, participation, downloads or whatever is important to you. Using Google analytics for example is a useful tool to help in this area.
If you follow a defined process such as the one’s Zanka Consulting uses, you stand a much better chance of selecting the right tool that will make a difference in your organization.