Here’s my take on three steps to generating successful social content from and for your community of customers, partners and influencers:
- Discover. Use a mixture of listening tools like NetBase and Twitalyzer to conduct audience research (it usually takes more than one tool to get all you need). Always start by learning a) what is being talked about, b) who the most influential voices are, and c) where their virtual water coolers are found. You’ll learn the keywords of the conversation you want to join before you jump in, helping your message resonate with real customer pain points. Create a scoring mechanism to prioritize the influencers who are most valuable to you. Then, find ways to engage in conversations with them.
- Empower. The real task is to get your internal experts (product management, designers, etc.) to talk to customers and influencers about how products are designed to solve business problems. It can be hard to get your experts to be on the front lines of communication.
- Publish: Here’s something that IS in the realm of marketing’s role in social media marketing—finding ways to highlight the most engaging content on your channels. You can link to popular blogs or discussions in your hosted community, or via Facebook posts, or tweets/retweets or LinkedIn comments. Feature links to your most popular blogs in your next monthly newsletter.