How to go social?

One of the first questions of companies starting to use social media is: “What is our contribution?” – “What content do we want to share?” – “What information is worth sharing?”.

I am currently accompanying a company, which recently launched an online shop and just signed up for facebook and twitter. There are many websites talking about the positive effect of “rich” information shared over the corporate social media channels. This company had exactly those above mentioned questions:  “Great opportunity, yes. But what do we share?”. (Potential) Customers want to receive valuable content instead of mere product information. We want to hear companies talking about helpful manuals and additional services instead of proudly pasting product descriptions.

So what can a company do? How should the first steps of a company look like in the world of social media? Olivier Blanchard has an appropriate explanation in his book “Social Media ROI“. Listen! Listen to those who are or can become relevant for your company. Gather information from those who have information for your competitive advantage. Customers can talk about problems on twitter, complain in communities, discuss product developments or search for solutions.

Studying the social networks you want to use, defining the environment and scope and listening to the people is the first and a crucial step towards a successful social media presence. Listen and monitor, gather and connect, become informed and intelligent about what is going on around your company.