The importance of a social media strategy

Strategybis Social media continues to become increasingly connected to business and the way in which it is conducted. Despite the juxtaposition of social media and social businesses, the phenomenon remains relatively new and wasn’t even part of the picture ten years ago. As a result, it can be challenging to decipher what is to come and where the world of social media is headed.

Regardless of the implications, I am intrigued by the possibility of what’s to come and where the trends will ultimately lead. However, even with excitement there comes a degree of obfuscation. One can never truly predict the course of time and we will have to wait to see where the developments in digital technology occur.

Nonetheless, social media has already brought about innovation and has even changed over time to become more user-friendly. Individuals now have the convenience of updating one aggregate site, which will post a message on a collection of different social environments.

Who would have thought this could become a reality in the digital world, especially considering the social media advent is to some extent, still in its youth? Even though it may seem unexpected, the ability to cross-post is evident and I don’t believe it’s going anywhere in the near future; at least as far as I am concerned.

For example, I facilitate posts with HootSuite and Ping.Fm, which allows me to maximize efficiency, by taking less than five seconds to express my ideas on approximately fifteen social websites, simultaneously. In my case, the updates generally include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Bebo, Orkut, Digg, GoogleBuzz, Delicious, Friendster and LinkedIn, just to name a few.

Social media has also continued to become more interconnected. This means that most platforms have the option of syncing with other sites. I even have the option of connecting my blogs to HootSuite as well, which can create a haven for news aggregation, information and continual communication. 

Moreover, social media junkies can continue to update their status and post a message on as many networks as they would like. This can even be more beneficial for businesses; they can have one individual responsible for social marketing and allow that individual to do it with utmost convenience and efficiency.

HootSuite even allows you to schedule messages periodically. This means that businesses can determine a network strategy and post messages automatically, regardless of the time of the day. With this in mind, organizations can specifically target messages to individuals that are time-sensitive and relevant to the business itself.

The reason this is so important, is because social media doesn’t necessarily influence sales or participation; it is more of a vehicle to increase recognition, awareness, web-influence and potentially SEO (search engine optimization).

Business can also establish credibility, integrity and a degree of trustworthiness, merely by interacting with a niche portion of the population on-line. Obviously, it needs to be in a positive and helpful manner, to yield the results that companies are striving for. Nonetheless, a companies’ approach is generally dependant on their particular organizational mantra and overall goal structure.

All-in-all, businesses should consider commencing a social media strategy, if of course they haven’t already. The strategy doesn’t necessarily need to be perfected from the onslaught either. Through time and social participation, businesses can literally generate a social prescription for the company, which speaks from experience and contains a frame of reference for comparison.

Basically, this prescription will become a remedy for the company and involve a transformation, once businesses have an understanding of the landscape they are working with. Just remember, there isn’t necessarily an incorrect way to conduct social marketing – just give it a try and see what happens. There are no rules to abide by and the conditions are still relatively new.

Ryan Schoenefeld is a recent graduate from St. Cloud State University, in which he focused on public relations, graphic design, digital marketing and communication. Since graduation, he launched and analyzed a social media marketing campaign for M Squared Group, a results-driven marketing company in Minneapolis. He is currently a Web Content Specialist at Health Partners and recently commenced The Continuous Disquisition. You can connect with Ryan on Twitter and on LinkedIn .

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