Friday, June 03, 2011

5 steps to engagement through social media

By Tracy Jones

If you’re thinking about getting into social media, you need to employ the principle of MATES – Monitor, Act, Talk, Engage and Sustain.

We’ve coined the term MATES because it emphasises what communicators know to be the most powerful aspect of social media – its ability to engage in meaningful conversations rather than just mindless promotion.

These five steps will help you get started.

MONITOR: Start your social media journey by looking at what others are already saying and doing in the social media sphere. Google like crazy. Do some searches in Twitter. You may be surprised what others are already saying about you, your brand, your products and your competitors.

ACT: Take the plunge and set up some accounts. Start with Facebook and Twitter then add to your armory as you get more comfortable.

TALK: Now it’s time to say something. Start small by retweeting or sharing what others are saying. You’ll get bolder as you go along by adding your own original content and thoughts. Share your knowledge and expertise with your friends and followers. The most influential participants give something of themselves to their audiences.

ENGAGE: Now it’s time to become a real participant. Comment on other people’s posts. Reply to people who talk to you or about you. Say thanks to those who pass your posts along.

SUSTAIN: Now you’re in the space you need to participate at a sustainable level. Have a strategy for how often and when you will be posting and commenting. Dedicate resources to the task. Make it part of your job, not just a tack-on at the end of the day that is quickly forgotten when things get busy.

Creative Territory offers a mentoring package to help executives get social online. The package includes an analysis of your business and personal needs, setting up your accounts, three hours of coaching at your desk and three months of ongoing support and mentoring. Contact to find out more.

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