Getting Started with Social Media

Here’s a briefing I recently prepared for a friend I’m doing a little marketing consulting (on the side) for. Applicable to just about any brand/business getting their feet wet in the social media space. Feedback please! 🙂

1- Tune in to what people are saying about your brand in social media environments. To do this, I suggest referencing the following tools on a weekly basis.

Social Media Firehose:
RSS feed (made by Yahoo Pipes) that aggregates results from Flickr , Digg , YouTube , FriendFeed and other social media sites.

• Remove the “salesforce” terms that are entered by default
• Enter “YourBrandName” as they keyword for search
• Enter “” as the URL fragment to ignore (prevents bringing up content from your own site)
• Click on “List” in the results interface. Enjoy the results!

atest Blog Mentions: This is another Yahoo Pipe that will aggregate brand references across several major blog search engines, including Technorati, Icerocket and Google Blog Search.

• Enter “YourBrandName” as they keyword for search
• Click on “List” in the results interface. Enjoy the results!

Twitter Search: See if anyone is Tweeting about your brand, in real time!

2- Develop your social media brand presence. Create and populate a blog and create a presence on twitter, facebook, MySpace, YouTube, etc. Actively engage with these tools.

3- Target Potential Evangelists. Find influential people who will appreciate your brand and want to tell their followers about it. is a great place to start tracking down who these influencers may be.

4- Develop Relationships. Interact directly with your existing and potential online evangelists using the platforms that they use. This can take time, but it’s worth it.

a. Found a new blog/twitter post/digg entry/etc with a post about you? Email/tweet or blog about the poster and take the time to thank her/him. Send her/him a branded gift. Begin a dialogue. Exchange exposure.

b. Target a high profile blogger that you think would be a good evangelist for your brand. Blog about them. Find and follow them on twitter. Don’t pitch them – reach out with the genuine intention of exchanging ideas/building a relationship, and let the rest happen naturally.

5- Measure results. Set goals and track success. Let social media work like any other campaign – to drive traffic, memberships and overall value of Watch for which social media outlets appear as referrers in Google Analytics, ask your members how they found you when they signup and watch your overall brand growth in social media outlets. Some tools to allow you to do this:

· Addictomatic A cool search engine that aggregates rss feeds into a nice visual dashboard

· Blogpulse Blog search engine with conversation tracker tool

· Boardreader Search forums and message boards

· Boardtracker Forum search engine offering instant alerts

· Buzzmonitor Embeddable widget showing recent instances of your search term

· Comparable site metrics for any website

· Del.ici.ous Social bookmarking engine. Search by tags and subscribe to feed results

· Facebook lexicon Searches facebook walls for words and phrases

· Google alerts Email updates of key search terms

· Google insights Compare search volume over time

· Google trends Compare search term trends

· Howsociable Gives a social media score for your brand, with email updates of your score.

· Ice rocket Blog search engine with results rss feed

· Newsflashr News search engine, presenting results in nice dashboard

· Sphere Related content widget

· Technorati Blog and social media search engine

· Twing Discussion board and forum search engine

· Twingly Spam free blog search engine

· Twitturly Track what urls people are talking about on twitter

· Xinu Shows how well your site is performing across different metrics. Also gives a site diagnosis

6- Ask your visitors. Ensure that this socially-driven traffic is getting what they came for when they come to your site. The best way to do this is to ask them if they got what they came for, using 4Q.

I realize I’ve skimmed some pretty big concepts (blogging, relationship building, building a social media presence), but I was casting a wide starting net. Did I miss anything? What would you add?


3 responses to “Getting Started with Social Media

  1. SJ!
    Awesome post! I’m off to build my first pipe 🙂

  2. thank you, that is the best

  3. Excellent summary — will retweet and share. Thanks!

    Roger Friedensen, APR
    The Catevo Group

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