On March 30, I was one of three panelists providing an overview on social media for Commercial Real Estate Women of Detroit (CREW). Joining me were Kelli Herman of MICCO Construction and Heather Greene of Neumann Smith.
This web document contains links to resources we introduced during our presentation.
Kelli’s topic was Facebook business pages and Heather covered Twitter. I spoke on corporate social media policies and blogging.
Social media policies
There oughta be a policy — There are two kinds of companies in the world: Those that embrace social media and those that avoid it. No matter which one you are, you have to have a social media policy. It should be part of your employee handbook.
In the links document you’ll find two websites to help you. One engages you in a dialog to help you write your policy on the spot. The other links you to the social media policies at nearly 200 companies and organizations.
Social media R U: I believe that every company should embrace social media. You can use it to help employees and customers more easily collaborate with each other and/or to move from a marketing campaign to conversing with your customers.
For example: When I was buying a used car, the salesman at the dealership was blocked from using the Internet. I could compare prices at other dealerships and he couldn’t! He had to use his smartphone. (That example isn’t necessarily about social media, but it does show how bad communications policies can hurt sales).
Embracing social media must go beyond a policy. It means training, supervising and measuring results. It means you trust your employees to represent you.
People freak out at the idea of blogging.
“I don’t need to tell everybody what I had for breakfast,” they huff.
Don’t think of it as a blog. Think of it as news. This is especially true if you’re in a service business. You’re selling yourself – your wisdom and creativity. Show it off!
Blogs posts don’t have to be weighty tomes. A couple sentences about a creative solution to a problem will suffice. Repurpose other people’s content. When you see an interesting article in an online publication, write a sentence about why it’s relevant, include a one-sentence quote from it and provide a link to the body of the story.
There are tools that allow your readers to subscribe to your blog posts, but don’t stop there. In the digital marketing world there is no pull; there is only push. Today’s best practice is to send a regular enewsletter with headlines about recent blog posts and links to the full article. This puts control into the hands of your readers, using their time in a respectful way. (In fact, that’s probably how you wound up reading this article: Because you receive MY monthly enewsletter).
But sorry, that’s not enough: You must share, share, share! Remember, this is SOCIAL media. Go beyond Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Use social bookmarking sites to expand the influence of your product, company or brand: Reddit, Stumbleupon, Digg, Delicious.
You can start a blog right on one of websites for popular blogging platforms, like WordPress and Blogger.com. There your blog will have a domain like
Douglascommunications.wordpress.com. But why should wordpress get all the credit? You would do better to work with your website manager to integrate the blog into your existing website: Douglasgroup.biz/newsletter. That way your analytics will measure blog traffic along with the site’s other stats. (You do use analytics, don’t you?)
Once again, click here for the list of links on these and other subjects. You’ll also find my updated list of favorite smartphone apps, including the guide to finding all the Angry Birds golden eggs.