Home Archives April 2009 Finding the right social engagement

Finding the right social engagement

| Print |  Email
Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Connecting with a community of your customers through social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter may help you increase your online presence, but are you ready to become an active participant? Expanding your marketing efforts to include these “Web 2.0” options takes you beyond merely presenting information, straight into a public two-way conversation.

Facebook ranks as the social networking site with most traffic, drawing 74 million unique visitors in January, second-place was MySpace (53 million), and Twitter came in third with about 8 million.

While social networking can help you tap directly into what your customers are saying, “You have to give up a bit of control,” says Dawn Foster of Fast Wonder Consulting in Portland, who advises companies on strategies for engaging with online communities where everybody has a voice. “What companies struggle with more than anything else is how to manage the communication about their brands on these sites.”

When Martina Degliantoni, a principal at Portland PR firm Conkling, Fiskum & McCormick, looked at blogs about her client, the Tillamook County Creamery Association, she found two unofficial fan groups. In response, the company created an “official” Tillamook Cheese Facebook page last year, invited the 750 existing fans to join, and now engages with 6,900 fans and counting.

Additionally, Tillamook rolled out its own fan club page in November, and is working on phase two of that site, which will incorporate a social networking component in June. “Because our customers have such an emotional connection with the brand, it is important to be a part of the conversation and let them know we’re listening,” says Degliantoni. “We have an online community manager and we monitor conversations about Tillamook hourly.”

If you can’t commit the resources to manage and monitor social networking sites and provide fresh content for your audience, you may want to hold off on creating your own pages for now, says Foster. Also, be sure you can answer the question: Whose job is it anyway? “You have to have time carved out for people to achieve your objectives,” she says. “Otherwise, you end up with abandoned accounts, and that can be embarrassing.”

If you are ready to commit to maintaining a business presence on Facebook, create a “group” or a “company page” where people can become a “fan.” Then, as on Twitter, do more than just tout your products and services, which will turn people off. Participate as part of the larger community by discussing industry trends, or asking employees from outside marketing to post information, suggests Foster.

The important thing is becoming — and staying — a part of the discussion. Once you become comfortable with the process you can determine how social networking fits into your marketing plan — and budget.

JENNIFER L. HANSON

Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it




 

More Articles

Podcast: Turn Things Around with David Marquet

Contributed Blogs
Friday, October 17, 2014
davidmarquet thumbBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

How can you move from a command-and-control leadership model to one of true empowerment and accountability? David Marquet did, and he took notes along the way.


Read more...

Gone Fishing

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY LORI TOBIAS

Business has been good to Laura Anderson, leading some to suggest she must be awfully lucky to find such success in a business notorious for failure. But luck’s had little to do with it.


Read more...

Downtime

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Bob Dethlefs, CEO of Evanta, balances work and play.


Read more...

College Conundrum

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

University and college tuition fees have been rising for more than a decade, while state funds for higher education have steadily declined.


Read more...

Growing a mobility cluster

News
Friday, October 31, 2014
0414 bikes bd2f6052BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Why are there so few transportation startups in Portland?  The city’s leadership in bike, transit and pedestrian transportation has been well-documented.  But that was then — when government and nonprofits paved the way for a new, less auto centric way of life.


Read more...

Books Rule

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY JON BELL

Powell's stays relevant in the digital age.


Read more...

Election Season

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

We didn’t intend this issue to have an election season theme. But politics has a way of seeping into the cracks and fissures.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS