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marketers

Consumers are increasingly avoiding traditional marketing. Today’s marketers need to adopt new strategies to engage consumers in ways that invite participation in their brands. ConsumerSphere is singularly focused on helping businesses to effectively engage their customers with social media.

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agencies

Social media is having a major impact on public relations and advertising. Clients are expecting strategic social media solutions from their agencies. ConsumerSphere provides agencies that specialized expertise tailored for their needs.

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non-profits

Something big is happening in fund raising- Social media: it’s big, it's important, it’s growing and non-profits need to understand how this powerful new tool is revolutionizing outreach.

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B2B

A new study from AOL and Nielsen highlights the importance of social media to B2B.

Study highlights include:

  • 32% of all Twitter posts contain content-sharing links; 73% of Twitter posts related to a specific industry (auto, tech, finance, and entertainment) contain sharing links.
  • 41% of all blog posts contain content-sharing links; 64% of industry-specific blog posts contain such links.
  • 12% of all Facebook posts contain content content-sharing links; 22% of industry-specific Facebook posts contain such links.

One of the number one complaints about social media is that it takes too much time.

Companies considering the leap into the land of blogs and tweets often run screaming into the night after they glimpse the reality of what it takes to launch and maintain a worthwhile social media presence.

I don’t blame them. The onslaught of digital information is overwhelming, but there is hope. The key is in being selective.

We all know that it’s the kiss of branding death to try and be all things to all people.

The same goes for social media engagement. Unless you have a dedicated staff ready to spend all day, every day monitoring every inch of the Web and churning out top-notch content, you need to be choosy about how and where you spend your time.

This isn’t rocket science, you say? You’re right. But it’s amazing how many people – even professionals – fall into the trap of trying to be everywhere, all the time. In this highly competitive market, it’s easy to start making judgments based on the fear of missing out on something.

The 24/7, real-time nature of social media sets businesses running faster and faster on the proverbial hamster wheel. You start by monitoring here and there, then you launch a company blog, set up a facebook fan page, start tweeting, create a professional group on LinkedIn, develop a collaborative community for crowd-sourcing industry-specific solutions, and so on and on and on. Before you know it, running your social media efforts takes nearly as much time as running your core business.

Instead of jumping on every shiny, new wagon recommended by the so-called gurus, take control of your social media journey. Here are six steps for making sure things don’t get out of hand:

1. Strategy first:  You want to make sure the plan is custom-fit to your needs and capabilities as well as the needs of your target audience.

2. Have contingencies: Even the best strategy sometimes goes awry. Your project is going to be a huge success, but – just in case – make sure you are prepared for anything.

3. Roll-out in phases: Get your toes wet before you attempt a backwards triple somersault with a half pike and a twist. Start small and grow your presence in as organic a manner as possible. Listen well, and your audience will tell you what your next step should be.

4. Enable : In the best case scenario, social media becomes part of your company culture, not a specialty that’s handled by a few select members of your marketing department. Deputize people across your business to monitor and engage, but be sure to keep an overall eye on the conversation, watching for consistency and balance.

5. Target,Target,Target: Finally, narrow your focus. Be brutal. Though it’s highly unlikely that your company can stand out everywhere, if you concentrate on a few key areas, there’s a better chance for greater impact. Even if you wind up with a smaller audience, you’ll be able to have a deeper dialog, and it’s the deeper dialog that leads to actual relationships, a perception of leadership, and business deals.

Are you already engaged in social media? How did you get started? What worked for you, and what was an utter failure? What advice would YOU give to a business getting ready to take the plunge?