50 Ways to use Social Media, listed by Objective

Chris Brogan, who continues to dazzle us with his thoughtful and helpful social media blog posts (I recommend subscribing to him) lists out “50 Ways Marketers Can use Social Media to Improve Their Marketing“.

In twitter, Jon Burg suggests the lists could be segmented to further help understanding, I recommenced doing this by the 5 social computing objectives we’ve found at Forrester.

I’ve taken Chris’s exact list, but have segmented it into the five objectives. This way, you’re not randomly choosing tactics without first having a goal in mind. Of course, the first thing to do is to first understand how your community uses social technologies, start by using this free social technographics profile generator.

1) Listening: Gleaning market and customer insight and intelligence

10. Build sentiment measurements, and listen to the larger web for how people are talking about your customer.
11. Learn which bloggers might care about your customer. Learn how to measure their influence.
14. Build conversation maps for your customers using Technorati.com , Google Blogsearch, Summize, and FriendFeed.
21. Collect case studies of social media success. Tag them “socialmediacasestudy” in del.icio.us.
25. Search Summize.com for as much data as you can find in Twitter on your product, your competitors, your space.
32. Make WebsiteGrader.com your first stop for understanding the technical quality of a website.
33. Make Compete.com your next stop for understanding a site’s traffic. Then, mash it against competitors’ sites.
34. Learn how not to ask for 40 pieces of demographic data when giving something away for free. Instead, collect little bits over time. Gently.
38. Track your inbound links and when they come from blogs, be sure to comment on a few posts and build a relationship with the blogger.
39. Find a bunch of bloggers and podcasters whose work you admire, and ask them for opinions on your social media projects. See if you can give them a free sneak peek at something, or some other “you’re special” reward for their time and effort (if it’s material, ask them to disclose it).

2) Talking: Engaging in a two way discussion to get your message out (and get messages in)

2. Build blogs and teach conversational marketing and business relationship building techniques.
5. Create informational podcasts about a product’s overall space, not just the product.
8. Check out Twitter as a way to show a company’s personality. (Don’t fabricate this).
9. Couple your email newsletter content with additional website content on a blog for improved commenting.
13. Try out a short series of audio podcasts or video podcasts as content marketing and see how they draw.
19. Experiment with the value of live video like uStream.tv and Mogulus, or Qik on a cell phone.
23. Explore distribution. Can you reach more potential buyers/users/customers on social networks.
24. Don’t forget early social sites like Yahoogroups and Craigslist. They still work remarkably well.
26. Practice delivering quality content on your blogs, such that customers feel educated / equipped / informed.
28. Turn your blog into a mobile blog site with Mofuse. Free.
30. Ensure you offer the basics on your site, like an email alternative to an RSS subscription. In fact, the more ways you can spread and distribute your content, the better.
40. Learn all you can about how NOT to pitch bloggers. Excellent resource: Susan Getgood.
41. Try out shooting video interviews and video press releases and other bits of video to build more personable relationships. Don’t throw out text, but try adding video.
44. Experiment with different lengths and forms of video. Is entertaining and funny but brief better than longer but more informative? Don’t stop with one attempt. And try more than one hosting platform to test out features.

3) Energizing: Letting your customers tell your prospects on your behalf (viral, word of mouth)

1. Add social bookmark links to your most important web pages and/or blog posts to improve sharing.
3. For every video project purchased, ensure there’s an embeddable web version for improved sharing.
4. Learn how tagging and other metadata improve your ability to search and measure the spread of information.
12. Download the Social Media Press Release (pdf) and at least see what parts you want to take into your traditional press releases.
36. Help customers and prospects connect with you simply on your various networks. Consider a Lijit Wijit or other aggregator widget.
47. Spread good ideas far. Reblog them. Bookmark them. Vote them up at social sites. Be a good citizen.

4) Supporting: Getting your customers to self-support each other

6. Build community platforms around real communities of shared interest.
7. Help companies participate in existing social networks, and build relationships on their turf.
15. Experiment with Flickr and/or YouTube groups to build media for specific events. (Marvel Comics raised my impression of this with their Hulk statue Flickr group).
18. Start a community group on Facebook or Ning or MySpace or LinkedIn around the space where your customer does business. Example: what Jeremiah Owyang did for Hitachi Data Systems.
29. Learn what other free tools might work for community building, like MyBlogLog.
35. Remember that the people on social networks are all people, have likely been there a while, might know each other, and know that you’re new. Tread gently into new territories. Don’t NOT go. Just go gently.
37. Voting mechanisms like those used on Digg.com show your customers you care about which information is useful to them.

5) Embracing: Building better products and services through collaboration with clients

31. Investigate whether your product sells better by recommendation versus education, and use either wikis and widgets to help recommend, or videos and podcasts for education.
50. Use the same tools you’re trying out externally for internal uses, if that makes sense, and learn about how this technology empowers your business collaboration, too.

Strategy, Training, and Planning
While not one of the 5 objectives, many of these aren’t directly social media tactics, but they are great rules of thumb.

16. Recommend that your staff start personal blogs on their personal interests, and learn first hand what it feels like, including managing comments, wanting promotion, etc.
17. Map out an integrated project that incorporates a blog, use of commercial social networks, and a face-to-face event to build leads and drive awareness of a product.
20. Attend a conference dealing with social media like New Media Expo, BlogWorld Expo, New Marketing Summit (disclosure: I run this one with CrossTech), and dozens and dozens more. (Email Chris for a calendar).
22. Interview current social media practitioners. Look for bridges between your methods and theirs.
27. Consider the value of hiring a community manager. Could this role improve customer service? Improve customer retention? Promote through word of mouth?
42. Explore several viewpoints about social media marketing.
43. Women are adding lots of value to social media. Get to know the ones making a difference. (And check out BlogHer as an event to explore).
45. Work with practitioners and media makers to see how they can use their skills to solve your problems. Don’t be afraid to set up pilot programs, instead of diving in head first.
46. People power social media. Learn to believe in the value of people. Sounds hippie, but it’s the key.
48. Don’t be afraid to fail. Be ready to apologize. Admit when you’ve made a mistake.
49. Re-examine who in the organization might benefit from your social media efforts. Help equip them to learn from your project.

One of Chris’s recommendations was to check out Website Grader, I found that to be very interesting, try that free service.

If this were an official Forrester report, I’d segment even further by prioritizing by usage (polling marketers), cost, effectiveness, and then deliver specific recommendations. At some point in the future, I will probably get that chance to that research.

I could double this list with additional tactics, but I think it’s enough to get started, hopefully Chris’s initial list and my mind meld should help you to improve your objective based social media strategies.

122 Replies to “50 Ways to use Social Media, listed by Objective”

  1. Great tips!

    I used the following tactics from the list above after reading this list:

    1. Add social bookmark links to your most important web pages and/or blog posts to improve sharing.

    2. Use WebsiteGrader.com for analyzin my blog – this works just fine!

  2. This is great, Chris & Jeremiah.

    Simple tips like 37 (create voting mechanisms like Digg’s) sound simple, but are easy to miss. There’s a lot here to be integrated.

  3. Thought I’d chime in for the first time–I’ve been reading your site for a while now. It’s really a fantastic resource. I’m an intern (though not a coffee-carrier) at a mid-sized software company and started scanning the web for social media and marketing related material as I began to realize how archaic some of the ways in which my company operates are. As an 18 year-old, I’m no stranger to this content, though the business world is a bit foreign to me. I’m an anthropology major actually (though that field is far more relevant to social media than people often realize). Anyway, I don’t want to flood your comment box with text, but I just wanted say–keep up the great work. It’s appreciated. Any by the way, the Website Grader tip has been a big help with analysis. If only I had the authority to implement some very necessary changes in my company.

  4. Great job man. Quite a good list. I have a blog about social media in spain and If you don´t mind I would like to translate this content to post it into my blog and (recongnizing you as the only author and sending ling back to you)

  5. WOW! This is all very comprehensive and useful advice for sure! Within my own array of sites, blogs and networks, I have completed some of these tasks with very positive results, but not all of them. But, hopefully soon I will be able to build up more of these and realize even more good results. Thank you very much Jeremiah for your expert analysis and detailed list of excellent objectives.

  6. P.S. I should add that one other very good idea is to write VALID HTML or XHTML pages. My entire main site (all 350+ pages) are now %100 valid HTML 4.01 Transitional. Yes, its true and even though this is not an “official” guideline for any of the big engines, it does make a really big difference as more engine spiders are able to quickly read and register valid pages and sites much faster than those that are invalid. Also, more search engines from all over the globe will spider valid pages and sites as well and that is, of course, very desirable. Thank you again.

  7. Terrific post, Jeremiah! Chris’s 50 ways to use social media are very useful, but they’re even more useful when they can be categorized into real strategies.

    I do think one additional strategy would be very useful for marketers, and that has to do with improving the trust customers have in your brand. Participating in social media requires a company to be transparent and honest, and to tolerate honest, straightforward feedback and commentary on the brand from all quarters.

    There may be no faster, more certain way to increase the trust your customers have in your brand than to participate in a variety of social media-driven dialogues.

  8. “D’OH!” Sorry for the confusion, but tank you for your correction Jeremiah. And thank you very much Mr. Chris Brogan. I have bookmarked your site and will be coming back more and more soon. Take care and keep on rockin’!!!

  9. Jeremiah, thanks for doing a bit of a deeper dive on Chris’s post. I haven’t read your blog before- I’m adding you to my Google Reader now. Cheers! Jeff

  10. Great post. The advice with regards integrating customer service with online community tools and techniques is very interesting, and gives me some great ideas. Great post has always.

  11. Great job Jeremiah!
    I am holding a seminar on “new marketing” – integrating all channels into one coherent brand-voice. this is very strong as a tip list.
    BTW – any suggestions for other resources on the 360 marketing intro?
    thanks again

  12. You guys are making me seriously want to start my own blog. I’ve been thinking about it for years. At this point, I’m bookmarking this page for future reference.

  13. I was looking for a web-guru for my biz and I am sure I ‘ve just found.
    thank you.so much.

  14. After reading Mr. Brogans list I have segmented into “Can use it at the office” and “Maybe later”. Yours is of course more useful and meaningful.




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  17. This is a good list, but where are the links? I’ve had to copy and paste several things from this post into Google to find what you’re talking about. Frustrating! That doesn’t help those sites you reference in tracking where their traffic comes from!

  18. Certainly a nice post. I would call it marvelous and can say that this will help people a lot and increase their social media marketing techniques.

  19. “Supporting: Getting your customers to self-support each other”

    –I’ve never really thought of that, to be honest! That’s great advice right there. I guess when they support each other, it’s less work for you. I’m not saying that you don’t need to check your site anymore and butt in here and there. It’s just that, if they self-support each other, you can focus on the other aspects of it, or the other stuff that needs resolving. Great idea! Thanks!

  20. This is a great list. Don’t forget about RhinoSEO Website Grader. (RhinoSEO Website Grader ) It offers the similar grading as hubspot but looks at other factors too like sitemaps

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  22. This is a very comprehensive list. It is worthwhile whether you are a full time or part time blogger to try and keep your standards up. By keeping resources like this bookmarked and reference them often you can make sure that your blog is working to its full potential. Great Job and keep up the good work!

  23. Jeremiah, strong post as always, thnx. I'll have to look deeper into Forrester's social computing objectives. I found this post and cited it while formulating some consumer social media objectives. . . a light framework for guiding conversations. Check it out, http://tinyurl.com/yb9kcy4, and let me know what you think! Cheers

  24. Thank you fot this tips. It was very useful for me to find this post. But i guess the bottom line is that all you need is a lot fo time on your hands to do all these social media stuff.

  25. Thank you fot this tips. It was very useful for me to find this post. But i guess the bottom line is that all you need is a lot fo time on your hands to do all these social media stuff.

  26. Great post! I would only add one comment: Add Facebook Like button in your post, it’s a way of propagating very fast about your existence.

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