For businesses, simply participating on social media sites is just the first step toward seizing the opportunities that exist in this dynamic new environment. Optimizing your social media optimization efforts requires concerted actions in a variety of areas including:
* Having a firm handle on what you’re trying to accomplish with your social media activities – Knowing why you’re developing a presence on perhaps numerous platforms can keep the focus on driving results as opposed to simply interacting with various communities. Focusing on objectives can reduce wasted time spent on tangential issues, which in social media circles are virtually unlimited.
* Presenting new content on a consistent basis – The creation of unique and compelling content on a consistent schedule will keep members of your communities coming back to see what’s new. Be careful to publish only the content that is informative and adds value while staying away from the idea that any content that gets published is good content.
* Varying your content – Going multimedia with your content can keep your publishing schedule fresh while allowing the exploration of additional ways to communicate with your various communities. While text-based content is still vitally important, visual content in the form of images and videos tends to be shared more often. Incorporating a variety of content formats also enables you to present your information in the manner that is most conducive for communicating the information you’re sharing.
* Put the right skill sets to work – One of the biggest changes that social media presents to businesses is the democratized two-way communication between the company and its communities. While some people may be very comfortable in this type of engagement, others may not. Be sure that the people you have tasked with engagement can carry the job without serious mis-steps.
While social media offers many opportunities, it rarely offers instant gratification. Be patient with your social media optimization efforts, be consistent with your process, and the rewards will arrive over time.