Social media – another way to schmooze

Lori Alba Written by: Lori Alba

Regardless of your profession, process improvement and technology always throw you for a loop until you can get a handle on the new ways of doing things – and understand how the changes will affect you and your business.

Such is the case with social media. Whether attending a marketing or technology conference, participating in a strategy meeting or chatting with colleagues or business partners at an after-hours function, the conversation almost always includes the question “How are you utilizing social media?”

Not to sound out-of-the-loop, many marketers are quick to say, “We’re building a social media strategy.” However, with the number of social media communities, bookmarking sites and tracking tools springing up every day – not to mention limited marketing resources – it likely is impossible to build a social-media-centered strategy.

In fact, a recent post on the techno//marketer blog advised against jumping directly to "seven dirty words" when planning a digital marketing strategy: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, LinkedIn, Flickr and Ning.

Instead of thinking about social media as a strategy, think of it as a prime schmoozing opportunity. Remember the days of picking up the phone just to say hello to a “warm” prospect or business partner in order to bolster the relationship? How about attending an after-hours function and trying to strike-up conversation with someone in your industry that you’ve been dying to meet? What are those nuggets of information you can use to spark conversation – and to help foster ongoing communication in the future?

This is the essence of social media. Where social media excels is in helping you reach new heights when integrated with your regular marketing campaign strategies. So instead of stressing about how to build a campaign around social media, think about how aspects of social media can strengthen and expand your tried-and-true efforts.

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