Keep an eye on consolidationAs social media grows, we can expect to see much of what we saw during the first dotcom boom: lots of partnerships and mergers/buyouts. With these arrangements often comes interoperability or even the merging of audiences and communities. You need to watch for these arrangements and see how they affect your choice of vehicles and new programs to test.
Here's a basic example: Because of the interoperability between Twitter and Facebook, many brands kill two birds with one stone by having Twitter update their brand's Facebook status, or vice versa. Sure beats writing two sets of copy.
Here's another example: As more social media tools make use of Facebook Connect, it might make it easier for your brand to reach out to audiences outside of Facebook. As you're evaluating new vehicles, you'll need to pay attention to how they might or might not work with the vehicles you already have.
Consolidation can also change the game. A lot has been written about what happens if and when Twitter gets acquired. While the company hasn't yet gone down that particular avenue, Twitter has formulated some interesting partnerships in order to bring the real-time web to search engines. This is kind of a big deal if your social strategy involves using social media to help address your SEO goals.
Consolidation in both senses (acquisition and interoperability) can really change the face of your social media efforts. Watch industry news outlets for announcements of partnerships and M&A activity to help spot opportunities to make your efforts more efficient and effective.
ConclusionBy now, you should have figured out that the best way to combat social media burnout is through advance preparation, particularly on the strategic side. Nothing can help you more than a well-prepared social media strategy, except perhaps sharing that strategy so that all your stakeholders know what you're trying to achieve and how you're trying to achieve it.
It's never too late to sit down and hammer out a strategy. Even if your organization has been doing some toe-dipping (or even implementing full-blown programs) in the absence of watertight goals and measurement criteria, it's still important to go through the strategic exercise so that structure can be lent to social media campaigns and they can help drive your business.
If you haven't done it yet, do it now.
Tom Hespos is the president of Underscore Marketing and blogs at Hespos.com.
On Twitter? Follow Hespos at @THespos1 or @_MarketingLLC. Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.
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Great content,Like any part of business, it all starts with your strategy. Unfortunately way to many business leaders want to take a "ready-fire-aim” approach versus spending the needed time in strategy. I commend your emphasis on the important role strategy plays.Failure to map your social media strategy and you run the risk of becoming another "smore” (social media whore) that I talk about in my blog: http://nosmokeandmirrors.wordpress.com/2009/10/28/20-top-entrepreneurial-best-practices-to-insure-2010-is-a-profitable-year/ and click on #15.How do you build that strategy? It starts with a clear understanding of your market, and its unresolved problems. Once you have a clear understanding of the market, its buyers and the criteria your buyers use to buy, their buyer journey if you will, you are well on your way to having the foundation to build a strategy.Or do what 90% of the others do and just jump in, spend money, they get angry your marketing dollars are climbing and you can not see a ROI.Mark Allen Robertswww.outbsolutions.com
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