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This is a guest post written by Jeremy Page. Jeremy (@jeremy_page) is a digital marketer that enjoys creating things. He likes playing basketball and currently works at, a search marketing firm.

Social Media BandwagonNowadays there is little need to talk about why or if startups should be integrating social media strategy into their overall marketing game plan. Social media has been integral in building marketing campaigns, gathering user feedback, and sharing anything important to your following. But it is also noteworthy to say that some (if not most) businesses are doing it all wrong.

Although I am a big fan of automation and outsourcing, these two principles should not apply to social media. You probably have heard of services that “time” or auto-release your tweets? Robots, anyone? Is that how we want to speak to our customers?

The whole point of social media is to get personal and at times unprofessional with your following. Facebook updates that say something along the lines of: “We are committed to bringing you great services and we do so by guaranteeing all of our products and services” are equivalent to the NBA player that notifies his anxious Twitter followers: “Just had a great workout, tweeps! Now I gotta eat.” Be unique, different, controversial or informative. This is across all channels.

Remember, each social media channel should have its own purpose. Your LinkedIn content should be different than Twitter (yes, go turn off your Twitter updates in your LinkedIn newsfeed). Your YouTube channel should be different than your Tumblr, your Pinterest pins different than your stumbles on StumbleUpon. This may be time consuming to offer unique strategy for all channels across the board, and it is time consuming, but offering amazing content and quality engagement to your following will pay off major dividends in the end. It’s really not a game worth playing if you aren’t willing to put in the time or creativity.

I recently had the chance to talk to Scott Cowley, who is the social media brains at Zagg Inc, a large phone accessory company. I wanted to get his feedback on one question:

What 3 specific actions would you tell businesses to do with their social media strategy?

Enter Scott Cowley:

  • “Create. Invest in creating new content about your industry: writing, images, etc. on your site (usually using a blog) and promote the content using social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and LinkedIn. Creators get followers, gain respect and credibility, and become “top-of-mind” when people start thinking about hiring or buying from someone in your industry. Use creativity to build your reputation.
  • Meet. Everything I do in social media is targeted toward meeting my friends and followers in person. If nobody is organizing something, I create my own event or invite people to lunch. Online friends turned into offline friends become the best kind of social media brand advocates when you get back online.
  • Help. You’ll make friends easily by providing needed assistance to your customers and potential customers online. Become very familiar with Twitter search operators so you can find out when local people are talking about things you’re an expert at or can help with through your business.”

Again, going back to the theme, all of these things require uniqueness, creativity and time. But if you stick it out and consistently do these things, your startup will see the change it needs to for 2012. Or, if you are just getting started, perhaps in the year 2013. Be patient.

What changes will you make with your social media campaign in 2012? What did I leave out?

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This entry was posted on Monday, December 12th, 2011 at 1:36 pm and is filed under Entrepreneur Inspiration. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.