The universe of "social media" tools available to help the creative mind make better connections with others is expanding so fast that it's hard to determine which tool is right for your business.
It requires a real effort to gain a certain minimal level of mastery of that tool, so when you're participating in the social media experience, you're using it effectively.
Social media tools are themselves evolving rapidly. If you don't have the expertise yourself, you must invest time, money and effort to assess and develop a strategy, then measure the results. We are compelled to measure results because we are consuming resources to service the social media experience.
The "results" are not easy to measure because relationships are not easy to measure. How do you judge the quality of the relationship you have with a customer? When you are face to face, or even on the phone with a customer, think of all the inputs available to you to "measure" the experience. When the customer is online, you are still in a relationship, but operating at a sensory deficit.
Key metrics exist. My fellow panelist Kate O'Neill (@kateo) is an expert in this area, she gave attendees great advice and her company [meta]marketer can give you more ideas. My point here is that social awareness, or social IQ is developed over time, with experience and effort. It's called learning. People with low social IQ make a lot of mistakes and easily offend. They have a lot to learn, and people with no social experiences are pretty obvious.
If you have no social media experience, it follows that your Social Media IQ is low, and it's pretty obvious.
- Business at the Speed of Now, by John Bernard.
- I like to read Seth Godin. Not everything he writes applies, but more often than not. Here's a great, relevant recent example: "What Are Your Assets?"
- I like to read Michael Stelzner, and the Social Media Examiner. It's not too snobby or technical. Here's one example: "How to Build Trust and Loyalty using Pinterest"
- Nashville based My Emma - read their e-mail news letters on how to make an e–mail news letter…
Learn how to put employee engagement at the forefront with John Bernard's book and subscribe to his blog. You know you can't do it all yourself in business. The same is true in social media. If you want your company to grow, you have to build an organization and empower. The same is true in branding. You must allow the company to speak, your people are its voice. Social Media tools are the megaphone. Seth Godin has a great voice. Read him and you'll see. The Social Media Examiner will help you learn how to "do" social media. My Emma offers a practical set of tools and, as a local company, you simply must visit their NASHVILLE office to see a culture of connection - building a business of connection.
These are various examples of individuals and organizations that do an outstanding job building brand and relationships with Twitter. If you have a son or daughter Tweeting – Follow them.
Finally, you can only raise your Social Media IQ by participating and, while there is no reason not to measure your efforts, just imagine these relationships are a long term investment, like any other valued relationship, and stay active in it.