What is the foundation of social media? A simple question with multiple ways to respond, but I found a great post this morning that discusses the 5 C’s that make up the foundation of social media marketing.
- Conversation: Go where the conversations are taking place – Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, YouTube, etc. Establish accounts and create your identity. Stay up-to-date with your accounts and participate often. Really get to know your followers and audience so you can actively participate.
- Community: Seize the opportunity to not only join and participate in conversations, but add your own value. This is how you create a community, which you must work to maintain and earn the trust of your followers. A good site for community building (in addition to the ones mentioned above) is Ning. Ning allows its users to create their own social websites and social networks. It’s a good place to create a form or community around your product, which in return can produce useful user feedback.
- Commenting: It’s important to maintain a relationship with your audience, so always be engaged. Track everything so you can respond to comments, whether they are comments to your blog posts, tweets, videos, etc. In addition, comment on other individuals posts, tweets, etc. The more engaged you are, the better response you will get.
- Collaboration: Think of your followers as your partners. They are your most loyal brand endorsers. Only friend and follow the people who are conversing about your brand and collaborate with them regularly. Do not spam them or push your product on them. Create the environment for them to want to learn more and endorse you.
- Contribution: Content is essential to being successful in social media. Create creative content that is engaging, unique, and news worthy. Make your audience want to learn more and want to share what they learn with their friends (Digg, Reddit, Stumble, Delicious, YouTube, etc.). Encourage others to promote your content too.
Follow the 5 C’s and you are on the right track to successfully marketing your business on the social web. For a more detailed look at the core ingredients that define social media, I highly recommend you check out Michael Fruchter’s full post!
What do you consider the foundation of social media to be? Share in the comments!