Can Social Media Be an Effective Tool for my Public Company?

(From the following original post:

Unless you have just decided to bury your head in the sand, you know there is huge potential with implementing a social media strategy for your organization. Several questions always arise: How do we implement it effectively? Which platforms should we use? How do we track it? Should we do it ourselves or hire a company? How should we deal with negative or misleading comments on social media platforms? There are real business answers to these questions and applications that can solve all of these issues.

Let’s start first with what social media actually is in terms of a tool in the marketplace and its potential for your organization.

Maybe one of the biggest misconceptions of social media as a whole is that it is a marketing tool first and foremost. If this is your approach it will not be an effective tool for you and your public company. Social Media gives your company the opportunity to have real time conversations about your company and its brand with the thousands of people who might already be talking about your company. These two way communications start by listening first and talking second.

Social Media in the public company space provides a new portal for word of mouth marketing and developing a community of your current and potential shareholders. It is a way to cultivate new relationships with shareholders and is a way to get introduced to fund managers, investment managers, investment bankers and analysts. Cultivating relationships with shareholders and potential investors is achieved by encouraging them to join in on the conversations, contributing relevant content and creating an avenue for two way dialogue.

Just like any good marketing plan, you first need to asses where you are and what strategies and tools you need to assemble in order to get where you want to go. Five processes you will need to have in place in order to get started are:

Before launching into a Facebook frenzy or start tweeting to the universe you need to assess where you are at and what resources you have and then benchmark that against best practices inside and outside of your industry. It is very important to assess your readiness to launch into the social media space and what you will need to do to really benefit from the process.

Strategy / Road Map
Social media is an investment of both your time and reputation. If this is a course of action your firm has decided to take, it needs just as much attention to detail paid to a marketing presentation that you would give to an analyst or investment bankers.

Now that you have a plan you need to equip your team with the rules of engagement and the how-to knowledge of using social media technologies. This should also include a corporate social media policy and guidelines, and most importantly, a corporate disclosure policy for employees, directors, officers and consultants.

Most social media tools are free or nearly free. Social media is in its gold rush phase and there are lots of people selling picks and shovels. Yes…you need a blog, well branded Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube profiles — but you don’t need to pay big agency fees or spend a lot of money on expensive software. Yes…jump in with both feet but realize that social media is an earned media and anyone telling you that you can buy an audience is just plain wrong.

If you build it they will come (WRONG!). Launching properly is about having an integrated online and offline marketing and communications strategy to draw the right people to your blog(s) and social networking/media profiles. It is not complicated, but it does need to be coordinated.

If implemented effectively, social media can be a great tool to level the playing field for public companies who have to continually compete for space and place to tell their story.

Contact and just let us know YOU WANT TO GO SOCIAL!

(From the following original post: