“Build it and they will come” only works in the movies. Social media is more like this: “Build it, nurture it, engage them, and they may come and stay.” — Seth Godin

Last week’s MaRS Best Practices event was hosted by Hessie Jones, the CEO of ArCompany, a social business consultancy that helps companies realize the value of social business by taking social media to the inevitable next level: the operationalization of social.

Hessie gave a great overview of social media strategies (both the good and the bad) and explained how to navigate the new age of marketing. Her presentation focused on how social media has changed the marketing world, humanizing companies and giving them voices to foster engagement with customers in real time.

Are you thinking of social media strategies for your company? Hessie offers the following advice:

  1. Develop a strong brand presence. Give your company a voice.
  2. Content is absolutely key, so control your message from the beginning.
  3. Develop community from the outset. Build, then iterate based on feedback, enabling actionable decision-making.

To learn more of Hessie’s tips and how best to tell your company’s story using social media, check out this five-minute “Hot Tips for Startups” video.

When it comes to social media, advocacy starts with employees. However, there are some free online tools out there to help you succeed.

  • Know when others are talking about you with Twilert.
  • Measure your engagement with Topsy.
  • Determine the health of your tweets—that is, what content has been engaged the most—with twtrland.

The bottom line is that social media enables people to connect directly with people, giving your company a voice. Social media engagement is needed in order to learn your customers’ wants and needs, so start small and build your audience from the ground up.

Watch Hessie’s full presentation here.

Jennifer Marron

Jennifer Marron was the Manager, Marketing and Channel Development for MaRS. See more…