Tom Schmitz // Jul 23 2009
This post is about the nature of social media. The premise is simple. Your social media marketing needs a centralized location, a headquarters.
Notice I did not write that you should centralize your efforts. That would be too much like those classic cartoon scenes in which the characters disappear behind skinny trees. When you hang-out in one place and one place only, online no one will hear you.
Rather, I’m writing about one easy to find place on the web where anyone can catch-up on all your important information and find your company’s other online hangouts.
Let’s explore this together.
In real life–not that life on the Internet isn’t real–locations don’t define relationships. Sure, you may have met you best friend in school or your wife in church. You see some friends in some places more than others and it’s pretty hard to go bowling in a boat. But, you can get together pretty much wherever you want.
I bet that you and your friends have a regular hang-out. It might be the local Elks club or an Irish pub or even your garage. And while you see each other there most often, you go to dinners and movies and concerts with your friends too.
I’m also guessing that all your friends don’t hang out in the exact same places. They may all have your garage in common, but do all of your friends go to your favorite restaurant or your favorite theater with you? At the same time?
Finally, it’s likely you have different circles of friends. The circles overlap, but not all your friends are a part of every group you belong to.
The Internet is a lot like this. Some people Twitter. Others like Facebook or MySpace or LiveJournal. I know lots of folks who hang out in forums or just read blogs. While most people do more than one of these activities, few do them all. This is why it’s important to maintain a presence in lots of different places where your audience, niche or target market congregates.
To be seen, you cannot expect everyone to come to you; you must go to them.
Unfortunately, maintaining accounts on several different networks can easily become disjointed. You will have different conversations in different places. It’s only natural. Keeping it natural is an important principal of social media marketing. Trying to include every little thing everywhere is not natural; it will put people off. For example, if your company announces quarterly earnings it will undoubtedly publish a press release. However, you will not repeat that same press release in every social media space. Instead you might find different highlights applicable to different social media accounts. You will post about those highlights and include a link to your blog or press release.
Since I mentioned your blog, let’s bring this full circle. For most companies I believe that your blog is the perfect place to create you social media headquarters. Foremost, it’s a space that you have complete control over. You get to decide the look, the feel and the content. You can link to all of your social media accounts from the template. If something noteworthy comes-up on one of your social media spaces you can write about it on your blog and encourage readers to go take a look.
Unlike your media or press section, your blog can–and should–have a personality. You can be more casual and talk with people instead of making third-person announcements. On your blog you can show emotion. For example, if your earnings go up because your CFO found a few million dollars in cost savings, you can express your overwhelming joy and exuberantly tell people that you have the best CFO in the world. You can’t do that in a press release.
Here’s the check list:
And here’s the bonus suggestion. Use the press release section of your website to make announcements. Use your blog to write about what those announcements mean.