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  1. Social media is like teenage sex?

    Social media is like teenage sex?

    “Social media is like teenage sex?”.

    Or at least that’s an analogy I heard recently at the Chartered Institute of Marketing #SMBenchmark event. And one I quite liked.

    Josh Graff, EMEA Marketing Solutions Director at LinkedIn, shared the comparisons with the audience as something everyone talks about, gets a bit nervous of, gives it a go and finds it a little disappointing. Then you work at it, and it gets better with practise, turning it into something you wouldn’t want to do without!

    Along with a few laughs, it was met with nodding heads around the room. Are we doing it right? Do we know what we’re doing? Or are we just fumbling about because we think we should get involved, but aren’t quite sure how.

    The CIM social media benchmark survey, conducted in Autumn 2011, showed some interesting results, coming from businesses large and small, b2b and b2c, national and global. Most of them are having a go, but an astounding amount are working without knowing what they are achieving. 80% have a Social Media strategy but 7% do not track any results.

    When it comes to investment, 2011 saw 6 out of 10 companies increase their Social Media spend and a higher growth is anticipated in 2012. So where should this invested time be spent?

    The advice was as follows:

    1) Make more use of monitoring competitors – a practise that most companies don’t do, or rate as a high value activity.

    2) Measure your activity. And then take action on those results. Don’t listen to your customers if you’re just going to ignore what they’re saying!

    3) Get your the right skill set. Only 6% of respondents say they had the skills to deliver their Social Media campaign. 19% said they were completely Ill-equipped

    4) Relevant content is key. Without an understanding of who your customers are and what they need to hear, your campaign will result in wasted engagement and loss of potential customers

    5) Use Social Media as a lead generation tool. Companies dedicate real time and budget to this, but it can and should be done through Social Media

    6) Continual communication. Once you strike up a relationship with your community, it’s essential you keep it going. They may come to rely on your for information and you need to be ready to give it to them

    But what are the risks?

    Well, coming back to the original analogy, it’s all very well having a teenage sex comparison, but the difference is that one is done behind closed doors so no one really knows what went on, and the other is done in public so everyone knows when an error is made.

    The key here if you’re worried, is to start by listening. To your customers and your competitors. You’ll soon learn what you can and can’t say. People expect you to share and be open with your entire audience. Be transparent, but you are accountable for what you say and do. If you upset them, customers will switch off. From you. And your brand. But not from Social Media.

    So, what’s next?

    Experiment with Social Media – its an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed, but don’t waste it. Without measurement it’s useless. You need objectives or how will you know if you’ve been successful? Social Media can be overwhelming as it never ends but we need to be comfortable with not being comfortable with it or we’ll never learn.

    LHM has been working with the CIM to create the website and surveys, and the next wave of the benchmark is now live! To be part of it and have your say, take the simple online survey to share your activity and plans for 2012. To take part click here:

    And make sure you visit the website to for all the latest updates, news, interviews and insights: http://www.smbenchmark.com

    Written by Liz Hemes – Account Director at LHM Media.
    Follow me on LinkedIn and Twitter

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