There's no doubt about it - 2012 looks like the year of the Tipping Point for businesses seriously looking to engage with social media in the UK.
I'm not saying that we are anywhere near mainstream adoption, but the 'it's just a fad' response is fast becoming a distant memory for organisations of all sectors, shapes and sizes.
However, how organisations go about adoption is key.
If we view social media platforms as far reaching communication channels, then that poses the question to organisations as to how they can leverage these channels to deliver on business objectives.
Let's face it - the remit of any marketing strategy is to deliver on the business objectives - to ultimately drive activity to achieve results that make sense for the business.
Therefore, social media isn't something an organisation does just for the sake of doing social media, (because everyone else is!) but rather to deliver business on objectives - hopefully as part of a well defined marketing strategy.
Business owners, CEOs and marketing directors should be thinking 'how' can we plug social media into what we currently do to maximise reach and realise objectives etc. However, probably due to eagerness to get onto the channels, often what we see is businesses diving into social media without any real thinking or planning.
The simple model in the image at the start of this post (adapted from the brilliant book by Olivier Blanchard, Social Media ROI)
Outlines how one should ideally be approaching social media.
So to summarise and get back to the point I started with, plan, listen, analyse before you engage.
@Michelle Carvill is owner and Marketing Director at Carvill Creative – the online visibility experts. A digital marketing and design agency based in Maidenhead, Berkshire. The agency covers all aspects of online visibility - covering social media marketing and social media training, user focused website planning and conversion focused website design.
For marketing and social media advice – view the Carvill Creative Blog