Home > Social Media > Technology Companies Need to Start Social Media Now

Technology Companies Need to Start Social Media Now

SocialMediaAll technology companies need to have a business plan and that plan needs to contain a marketing plan.  And that marketing plan needs to contain social media such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and blogs.  If your company has not started using these tools then this needs to be the year to start.  Don’t over extend yourself but get the ball rolling on social media.  It is not going away.  This post will cover a suggested plan on social media for those just starting out with it.

The hope for adding social media to the marketing plan is to create more buzz and discussions about your company.  Social media is a lot of little things that hopefully will create more activity and sales of your company’s products and services.  For social media to be successful it needs to be integrated with your existing marketing of live events, case studies, webinars, etc.  Social media needs to part of your company’s culture.  A culture change takes time to accomplish and will require educating your company’s employees about social media and the company’s plan for social media.

A goal of the social media marketing plan is to include the social media needs, wants and ideas of different departments in the company including Support, Product Development (if applicable), Professional Services and Sales.  Social Media improves the communication to and from clients, prospects and partners.  It also allows for gathering of information on competitors and their products and/or services.

Goals – First write down the goals that you want to accomplish with social media.  Here is an example of some goals:

  • Getting started on social media so that social media becomes part of the marketing process with possible increased effort on social media during 2011.
  • Improve company perception with prospects.  As competitors begin using social media more and more, your company will need to do so as well to be perceived as a caring, involved, organized, leading edge and professional company.
  • Improve company’s digital presence so that your company is found easily and more often on the internet when searched for by individuals.
  • Communicate out to those interested in your company in the communication method that they desire.  Many individuals prefer the use of such tools as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to get information.  Your company would use social media to promote events you are exhibiting at, notify customer about trainings, announce webinars, mention client case studies and inform about the company’s products and/or services.
  • Improve communication into your company by people with the communication method that they desire.  Many individuals are comfortable and prefer using tools such as Twitter and Facebook. They use social media to provide product feedback, mention support issues, make enhancement requests and request information.
  • Improve monitoring of competitors and their products and/or services so that your company can quickly respond to their offerings.  This will be done by monitoring the competitor’s digital presence and social media efforts.
  • Improve monitoring of mentions of your company and its products and/or services on the internet.  Some of these mentions might be requests for information which should be responded to quickly.  Some of these mentions might be negative which also need to be responded to quickly.
  • Increase traffic to the company website and improve search engine optimization as social media will provide more linkage to the site and will make the site more ever changing.

Components – Once you have your goals set, define what you are going to do.  Classify your social media tasks as phase 1 and phase 2 items.  Do not try to take on more than you can handle.  For example select Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Alerts for phase 1 while YouTube videos and Blog will be done in a 2nd phase.

Facebook

Facebook is the leading social media tool.  Many individuals use Facebook as the way to stay up to date on the activities of friends and organizations that they care about.  Technology companies have created Facebook Fan pages so that those with an interest in their company can get information easily and quickly.  A Facebook Fan Page usually has a more casual feel to it than a company website.  Pictures and lighter tone pieces are used on a Facebook Fan Page rather than on the company’s website which is more formal.  Facebook Fan Page should have a similar look as the company website.  The target audience is clients, prospects and partners of the company who use Facebook.  After the Fan Page is created, promote it on company website, mention in newsletters and add to email signatures.  Set a goal such as to update Fan Page at least once a week with an update on company event, webinar, training, product release or service offering.

Twitter

There are those that desire to get information via Twitter.  Twitter information is fast, current and short (140 characters).  Twitter is an excellent tool to drive individuals to a website so that they can get more information about events, products and/or services.  Anyone can be a follower of a particular Twitter account.  Therefore the desire is for anyone that has a Twitter account and would have an interest in your company for them to sign up to be a follower of your company on Twitter.  Twitter Profile Page should have a similar look as the company website.  Target audience is clients, prospects and partners who use Twitter.  After Twitter account is created, promote account on company website, mention in newsletters and add to email signatures.  Set a goal to send at least 5 tweets a week on company events, news releases, webinars, training, product releases and/or service offerings.  Tweets can also be industry related.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is known as the business professional’s social media tool.  It is a great tool to find individuals and companies.  LinkedIn has the ability to have a company page and create groups which have members that are interested in the group subject.  Therefore your company can create a group that is targeted for your company’s clients and partners.  LinkedIn does not require as much care and feeding as Facebook and Twitter.  Initially, LinkedIn will be used by your company as a way for people to find your company.  The LinkedIn company profile will drive people to the company website.  The target audience is business professionals with an interest in your company.  The initial strategy is to create the profile and maintain accuracy.  It is also recommended that all the upper management of the company have individual LinkedIn profiles so that they can be easily be found by other individuals.

Google Alerts and Competition Monitoring

It is important to know what is being posted about your company, your products/services and your competitors on the internet.  This is done by setting Google alerts on specified terms.  If these specified terms are posted on the internet Google will send you an email notification.  These emails will need to be reviewed with the appropriate person in the company notified if something needs to be responded to.  Also someone outside of your company will need to follow competitor’s Twitter account and competitor’s Facebook Fan Page.

YouTube

YouTube is a highly searched tool for videos.  Videos are less than 10 minutes in length and usually are not very formal.  Many companies put training videos and product information videos on a custom YouTube Channel which they control.  Many individuals at your company will need to assist in the creation of videos including selecting topics and presenting in the videos.  Target audience is clients, prospects and partners who access YouTube looking for information on your company, your products and/or services.  The strategy is to announce videos on company website, mention in newsletters, send out Tweets and post on Facebook Fan Page.  Set a goal to post at least 1 video a month once you have started posting videos.

Blog

A blog is a great way to show expertise and to provide information to those that want it.  There are multiple blog tools that can be used with WordPress being the most well known.  The blog should be integrated into the company website.  A blog is time consuming as it does take time to write the blog posts.  Consistency is important to having a successful blog.  Blog posts will probably need to be written by multiple people at your company who have the expertise necessary for the posts.  Target audience is clients, prospects and partners who would like to see information related to your company, your company’s products and/or services.  The strategy is to announce blog posts on website, mention in newsletters, send out Tweets and post on Facebook Fan Page.  Set a goal to post 1 blog post a month once you have started your blogging.

Calendar/Costs – Now that you know what you are going to do and why you are going to do it, create a time line or calendar of when you will be tackling these social media tasks.  Mark down when you are going to set them up and when you are going to promote them.  Create a reminder to do your postings and monitoring.

All most done.  Now you need to estimate what this is going to cost you.  Many of the additional costs to do social media are in the marketing labor necessary to setup, post and monitor.  Many of the tools used are no cost items for the basic versions.  Create an estimate on the number of additional hours of marketing time it will take to do these social media tasks.  At a minimum count on 1 to 2 hours every business day to be spent on social media for the company.  If you don’t have the resources to handle this consistent effort then look into getting an outside consultant to assist setting it up and doing some of the initial work.  But for it to be successful you still need to be involved.  Once the social media process is in place, consider bringing on an intern to assist with the social media activity.  If YouTube videos are on your list, I recommend purchasing a good video camera.  Estimate cost to be around $500.  I know that time is your most precious resource but if done correctly your efforts in social media will pay off.

Incorporate social media into the company’s marketing efforts.  Social media will increase the communication with the company’s clients, prospects and partners.  Hopefully, this increased communication will increase the number of leads and sales.  Remember that the social media plan will need to be reviewed on a regular basis.  It should be a living, ever changing document.  Wish you great success.

Advertisements
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: