It’s almost 2010 and we have survived the Social Media landslide of 2009. Everyone from traditional media, small businesses and major brands can contest to the fact that social media, depending how you use it, is a term that we’ll be discussing in the upcoming years. Some call it social media marketing, some say social media are just tools and some say social media is just media. Others say, I’m tired of social media altogether. But regardless of what social media is called or how it’s being used with proven examples of failure and success stories from Dell, Starbucks, Ford, Grasshopper, Skittles, Pepsi, Motrin and more, using social media to sell products or for customer service or for brand management social media marketing will be watched carefully and continue to be a hot topic.

Now we’re seeing interest from hotels, small businesses, agencies and consultants trying to duplicate the success of the popular social media case studies. Branded Facebook fanpages and new twitter contest are being launched every day and while this may work for some, it’s not for every company.

Sadly, one of the common trends that I keep hearing lately is most social media “campaigns” or efforts are not being measured against valuable measurable goals. Without setting realistic goals and measuring your efforts against your time and content, you’re basically playing a guessing game.

How not to play the Social Media Marketing Games:

1. Have a Social Media Policy
2. Set-up listening tools for your company / brand
3. Set your goals before attempting any social media marketing (contest, product announcements)
4. Have a content strategy and review bi-weekly or monthly
5. Measure everything: (site traffic, purchases, referrals, clicks, fans, friends, followers, engagement,)
6. Track your time
7. Hire smart and not cheap
8. Be creative
9. Use multiple content and networks
10. Keep your social networking profiles updated and review monthly
11. Listen to your existing customers
12. If if doesn’t add value to your company or brand ask yourself what are we doing it for?

How are you measuring your social media efforts in your organization?

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