The Three Levels of Social Media Involvement – Which One Fits Your Company?

When someone asks me if their company should be involved in social media, my answer is always the same, “Yes, but you’re asking the wrong question.”

Every company needs to be involved in social media. The right question is “How?”

There are three levels in social media involvement:

  1. Basic: When you are at this level, you are listening to the conversation and responding when it is about your company. In some cases this means chatting with fans. In others, it means resolving issues and/or correcting misinformation.
  2. Participating: Are you ready to join in the conversation? This level means that you’re starting conversations instead of simply responding. You are creating a community of people with similar interests. It opens doors for new opportunities and solidifies relationships.
  3. Engaged: You have an established community with interactive members. Conversations happen with or without your participation. Your fans encourage positive mentions and respond to negative ones. This is where you reap the rewards of social media juice.

The Internet is a huge soap box for people to shout out about your company. We talk about the positive stories going viral while forgetting that bad news travels faster. I recently stumbled upon a twitter account that appeared to belong to a local business. I’m a fan of their company, so I started clicking the links. Every one took me to a Ripoff Report page where a disgruntled customer rants about a bad experience. I notified their management. Fortunately they were able to have the account suspended.

All companies should have a social media presence even if it is only at the basic level. If you don’t have one, what are you missing? If you do, what have you gained? Please share your stories.



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{ 2 comments… add one }

  • CASUDI

    I’ve started checking out a Twitter presence of anyone I am planning to do business with. If they are on Twitter and their account is not maintained, what does that tell me? If I look at their followers and if there are several pages filled with anything but their customers (spammers of various levels ?) ~ if I notice they not following back large numbers of followers ~ what does this all tell me? I look at whom they are following :-) And I look at their tweets; broadcast only or tweets with information I would certainly not want to put on a billboard. I notice if there is any interesting @ exchange, or any exchange at all. The more important the business association the more time I take. It seems to me that there is a tremendous opportunity for you to help business (small & larger) create and maintain a credible image as well as presence on Twitter.
    @CASUDI

    Reply
  • Debra Ellis

    Caroline,

    Thank you for your comment. I agree with your social media practices. I do the same things before I follow anyone. I also have a few extra steps. If I follow someone and they start spamming, I unfollow. If someone follows me who is a spammer or porn purveyor, I block them. My follower/following count isn’t as important as the quality.

    Debra

    Reply

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