Sponsored by Lane Powell

Finding the right social engagement

| Print |  Email
Archives - April 2009
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

3 trends in the garden business

The Latest
Thursday, April 30, 2015
gardenthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Oregonians are scrambling to get their gardens in order for the summer. Here are three tips from landscaping and urban farming expert.


Read more...

On the Road

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

My daughter turned 18 last week, and for her birthday I got her a Car2Go membership. Not to label myself a disruptor or anything, but it felt like a groundbreaking moment. The two of us, mother and child, were participating in a new teen rite of passage: Instead of handing over the car keys, I handed over a car-sharing card — with the caveat that she not use the gift as her own personal car service.


Read more...

Opening soon: 3 of the coolest new breweries in Oregon

The Latest
Thursday, March 19, 2015
brewthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

There are 278 companies licensed to operate as brewery, according to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Here are three new beer-making hubs slated to open soon.


Read more...

Power Players

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY ROBERT MULLIN

A new energy-sharing agreement sparks concerns about independence and collaboration in the region's utility industry.


Read more...

6 development projects reshaping Bend

The Latest
Thursday, April 09, 2015
bendthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Bend has reclaimed its prerecession title as one of the fastest growing cities in the country.


Read more...

5 questions for inDinero CEO Jessica Mah

The Latest
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
jessicathumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

inDinero, a business that manages back-office accounting for startups and smaller companies, recently announced it would relocate its headquarters from San Francisco to Portland. We talked to CEO Jessica Mah about what drew her to Portland and how she plans to disrupt the traditional CPA model.


Read more...

Can small be large?

Linda Baker
Wednesday, April 01, 2015
040115-lindablogthumbBY LINDA BAKER

Leaders in Oregon's ag sector gathered this morning in Portland’s Coopers Hall winery/taproom to discuss the role of the region as an export gateway, impediments to exporting products and solutions to containerized shipping challenges.


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