6 Simple Steps to Building Your Social Business with Meltwater Buzz

According to a study by SAS and the Harvard Business Review, by 2012, 88% of companies will use social media worldwide.

Well, 2012 is just around the corner, and if you haven’t taken the steps to make your business socially active and aware, now is a great time to start! Meltwater Buzz, our social media monitoring, engagement and management platform, is the perfect tool to help you build and drive your social business.

How?  We’ve broken it down to six core steps.

1. Listen. Many organizations have already taken this first step—they’re monitoring social media for conversations about their brand or business. This first step is vital—it gives you a basis for understanding the volume, sentiment, tone and topics that surround your brand. You can use it as a baseline to measure how your initiatives are impacting these metrics over time. You also need to constantly monitor your brand to ensure that any crisis situation comes your immediate attention for swift and positive action.

2. Plan. Use the knowledge that you gain from monitoring your brand to determine what you really want to accomplish through your social presence. Define the “why”—the use case(s) for your social media presence. Do you want to reach out and draw customers closer to your brand? Provide better service and customer care? Gather feedback and ideas for new products? Sell more widgets? The choice is yours. After you define the “why” then detail the “how.” Create a strategy and plan, get everyone on the same page and define roles and responsibilities. Train ALL your employees on your strategy and draft your social media policies and procedures for everyone.

3. Engage. Now that you’ve done all that planning, start engaging! Make sure to publicize your social presence through email, your website, your advertising and more! And start getting active on your social accounts. Post great content to share with your community. Canvas social conversations to find potential new contacts to draw to your brand. And start making connections with your brand’s social fan base!

4. Measure. As you’re growing your social community, make sure you’re constantly measuring value. Which content drew the most re-tweets? The most likes? The most comments and shares? Which activities drew the greatest engagement? How has your activity changed the volume of conversation around your brand? How have your other marketing initiatives impacted social chatter? Regular measurement will give you an idea of what works (and what doesn’t) for you brand and market. Let those measurements be your guide to zero in on the things that resonate with your community.

5. Evaluate. Along with measuring key performance indicators, you need to evaluate your long-term results to see what ROI you’ve achieved through your social campaigns. Did your Facebook contest generate a huge new fan base? Did you see a rise in dog bed sales after you created a “star dog” photo promotion? Which social channels are generating the most engagement? Are you doing the right things for the channel that’s lagging?

6. Evolve. The answers you see in the metrics and results you see for particular campaign types are going to change drastically over time. That’s because this market is changing and evolving every day. New marketing ideas and campaigns are driving new business opportunities—and rules for social engagement. By being a part of this movement, you’ll be able to evolve with the market rather than be left behind.

This is a lot of food for thought. We’re here to help you make all this happen. Meltwater Buzz is a great tool that can help you manage through the steps of building your social business, and our Social Advisors are a great resource to guide you through the process. We’ll be at Stand 79 at Social Media World Forum in New York.

Please come by to see us and find out how we can help you drive your social business to success.

About the Author:

Margaret Donnelly, the former VP of Marketing & Business Development of JitterJam, spearheads the marketing efforts for Meltwater Buzz. Meltwater Group acquired JitterJam in March 2011.

Margaret has over 25 years of technology marketing and business development experience in the social media, telecommunications, services, and computer hardware and software industries at companies such as Firetide, ArrayComm, SkyTel, Commtouch and Pyramid Technology.

Margaret co-founded the Personal Broadband Industry Association and has served as an industry analyst and marketing advisor for a diverse set of businesses. A transplant from Silicon Valley now living in the wilds of New Hampshire, Margaret is active in the local arts community.

Twitter: @mwdonnelly

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mdonnelly

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