We all agree that the number one rule of Social Media engagement is to listen .
Observe and learn from what it’s been said about your brand, about your product about your executives.
On the listening exercise you’ll realize that the location and the focus of the conversation around you is diferent.
There could be blogs, it could be Facebook, Forums or Twitter where your name is been discussed.
A strong step is to start listening and follow conversations concerning your interests, understand the perception and quality of the talk.
However when it comes to join the conversation thats the big question….Where or What to Join ?
There are 4 scenarios:
– Situation 1 – Conversations where it’s best you stay out of it.
Example: A public complaint about your company on an environment where you have big advocates and they are coming to your defense.
Apple don’t join all conversations even when they are attacked, they know they have a powerful army to come on their defence. These army are biggest fans and product evangelist that will come up any time someone attacks the brand.
– Situation 2 – Too many small talks
Understand the difference between Influence and Popular
You don’t have to have the time or the resources to respond every single blog post about your company or product.
It’s not because you had pulverized mentions you’ll create a whole team to engage on these channels. You don’t have to. You might want to take a look at: Is this blog relevant to your industry? Are other channels replicating the post?
– Situation 3 – Lies about you
If someone says something negative about you and this doesn’t reflect the reality, then you should look for a way to engage in order to get this content under control, or at least replied with your version.
You need to do it before people start believing it’s true.
-Situation 4 – Where you really want to be
As Chris Brogan says – Fish Where the Fish are.
Your audience will prefer some Web 2.0 media over others. Before investing the money and effort to bring them to your site, find out what method of communication they favor and Where they are already going to talk.
Anticipating an audience’s preferences is risky and difficult. If you’re not sure your audience wants a new medium, you may end up being a one-person parade. You wont find the Down Jones team working Social Marketing on Second Life.
1) Research your audience with Surveys, Analytics and Search Tools.
2) Find your audience – or “Fish Where the Fish Are”
3) Let your customer know you’re there, answering questions, giving feedback and slowly building your authority
4) Reach out to them in a voice and channel in which they are holding the conversation
5) Understand that you don’t’ have more full control over your reputation, but you do have control over what you’ll be building, so be transparent!