Guest Blogger Brent Beatty Talks about Creating a Social Media Foundation

Listen! One of the most powerful tools social networks have given us is the ability to listen carefully to our audience. The first and most important step in building a foundational social media marketing program is understanding what people are saying about your industry, company, products, services and you. Listening to dialogue and analyzing perceptions enables you to thoughtfully create a program based on an understanding of your audience – not blindly put together a plan based on your preconceived idea of the marketplace.

Use free tools like Google Alerts, Google Reader, SocialMention and Twitter Search for insight into your consumers world that companies would have had to pay big bucks for not long ago (there are tools out there like Radian6 that are more robust but not free). The set-up is easy and management is whatever you can put into it.

To create your listening program, use these tools to track keywords and terms that are relevant to your business and set aside an hour a day for researching and analyzing the collected information. Gauge the sentiment of comments and create a spreadsheet with positive, negative and neutral tabs to organize the data. In a short time, you should have a firm finger on the pulse of your industry – new opportunities; what consumers are in love with or might not like at all. This will enable you to position your organization and strategy for the next step – engagement – reaching out and joining the conversation.

The result of a well-thought out listening program is an integrated marketing strategy where you can thoughtfully reach out to consumers and deliver what they expect.

To hear more, visit the Lunch and Learn: Social Media 101 seminar:

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Saturday, March 20, 2010
Noon-1 p.m.
Building 2, Floor 14, Seminar Room 1405

Brent Beatty, Search and Social Media Marketing Strategist for What’s Up Interactive, will take you through a best practices approach to effectively growing your business through interactive channels like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and blogs. In an interactive discussion, hear examples of how businesses are using Social Media and tangible steps you can take to begin engaging with prospects, partners and peers to build relationships and drive sales.

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