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Social Media for Business and Entrepreneurship

Words of wisdom from four entrepreneurs who use social media in their business: a recap of our 6/16/10 event.

  Social Media for Business & Entrepreneurship Event - 6/16/10  
Given "The Art of Entreprenership: Creating Companies and Cashing Out', it seems fitting to share with you highlights from another event with entrepreneurs. This one took place on 6/16/10 at the Samsung Experience Center and addressed Social Media For Business and Entrepreneurship.

[I originally wrote up the event in Social Media for Business and Entrepreneurship - CBSAC/NY Panel Discussion, and have extracted each panelist's words of wisdom.]

The event featured Dorian Benkoil, Marshall Sponder, Jeremy Merrin and Lawrence Sherman - who use social media in their businesses.

Dorian Benkoil shared the following recommendations:

1. Align your marketing communications/outreach strategy with your social media. SM are big tools in the arsenal.

2. Assign someone with enough “heft” to properly execute number one. (Don’t leave your social media to the youngest person in the office, just because they’re young and use Facebook.)

3. Listen. Remember to take very seriously what folks are saying.

4. Respond. See # 3.

5. Just do it. Then measure, and adjust.

Marshall Sponder [who has just published Social Media Analytics: Effective Tools for Building, Interpreting, and Using Metrics] detailed the following: 

1. Before starting a social media campaign (or social media monitoring of the campaign) determine what your business goals are and write them down.

2. Create campaigns and marketing tactics that align with your stated business goals (i.e., be able to explain how and why they align) while still in conceptual stage (don't implement yet - just consider the campaigns)

3. Assess paid/free tools for analytics and monitoring; I suggest auditing the business goals, campaigns and tactics against the willingness and ability to monitor and track. For example, what do we need to change in order to be able to track a business goal that becomes a campaign that employs tactics. - Determine if there is enablement budget to put those "hooks" in place to monitor. - Choose the set of tools that work the best for your organizational needs (i.e., do you need daily reporting, historical database, geo local targeting - etc.).

4. Assess what additional training might be required by staff to act on the information collected by the tools - budget for training and enablement work here.

5. Put campaigns into place, ideally, once you're able to track them with analytics and listening systems which will then give you an ROI type of number you can work with.

6. Report weekly or monthly, depending on your organization's cadence and tune your campaigns and tactics as needed.

Jeremy Merrin EMBA 00 offered the following:

1. Do as much testing and experimentation as possible

2. Start recording and keeping statistics on each part of your program

3. Begin to analyze the statistics as early as possible

4. As a company owner, he needs to remember that this is a very new field that is rapidly changing. Nevertheless, he stays focused on learning how to monetize efforts spent in this area.

5. Bite off only as much as you can chew. Only add on additional platforms when you have the bandwidth to handle them.

Lawrence Sherman recommended:

1. Know your audience(s) and their needs and preferences. Sometimes you have to ask them!

2. Think about where in your business model social media can fit - in medical education we can assess educational needs, promote educational programs, and create private environments for assessment of impact.

3. Many times the users don't know what they don't know or what they can do, so you often have to point things out to them. Social media fits many communications needs but may not be obvious to them.

4. You can't treasure it if you can't measure it, so design social media strategies and uses that have measurable objectives.

Lots of terrific advice!

The event started out with Erik Qualman's Social Media Revolution 2.  That has since been updated with Social Media Revolution 3 which you can watch by clicking on this link to YouTube.

Are you using social media for your business? What have you found most valuable? What advice would you add to what these panelists shared?

For many more resources, do check out the original post recapping Social Media for Business and Entrepreneurship. 

Thanks for reading!

Best, 

Christine B. Whittemore '93

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