Being busy is no excuse: Five ways any business can be successful with new media

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By Alexandra Reid

There is no doubt that the digitization of business has put enormous pressure on professionals to do increasingly more work in far less time. Adding just one more task to your already busy workday is seemingly impossible so certainly undertaking something as demanding as new media is completely out of the question, right?

Although new media hits my sweet spot, I’m not about to sugarcoat it. New media takes a lot resourcing, especially the time required to create content.

However, being busy is also not an excuse to avoid new media anymore. Your community expects it and it is likely that your competitors are already in the game. Besides, the benefits of new media can be too compelling for you to dismiss considering it just because of time constraints. Brand promotion, SEO, on-the-spot customer service and feedback, networking and lead generation are just a handful of the advantages you will reap from being actively involved in new media. So why not give it a shot?

I am a firm believer that successful new media engagement is achievable by any business, no matter how busy, so long as there is a clear plan and a good support system in place. The beautiful thing here is that, as new media channels increase in popularity, support systems have been coming up roses specifically to help you fit new media into your busy work schedule. From advice offered in blogs and white papers to new tools, to teams of people who will literally do the work for you, businesses can now enjoy all the benefits of new media with far greater simplicity.

Here are five simple ways that any business can be successful in new media.

1) Employ a community manager

Community managers are employed specifically for their communication skills and their ability to provide a human voice for a company. With customers expecting more and more from companies regarding their willingness to listen and engage in conversation, it is becoming more valuable for companies to employ community managers to build and maintain long lasting relationships in this way. Community managers should understand the company’s vision and be well connected to company employees at all levels in order to direct messages of importance to the appropriate people and ensure these messages are answered. Once a community is established, community managers can be extremely valuable in brand building, customer service and damage control.

2) Hire an agency with new media abilities

Whether your community manager is internal or part of your external agency team, there are other services available from external agencies on an as-needed basis. Agencies can help you build and maintain an online community by crafting an overall strategy, crafting your new media accounts and content, monitoring your online conversations and engaging with your audience. Executing a successful social media program requires continuous engagement over the long haul, making it vital that a long-lasting agreement be established between any company and agency. Learn about inmedia‘s capabilities in this area in this post.

3) Allow your employees to have access to new media during work time

Blocking access does not keep employees off new media sites so why not steer their engagement to your advantage? Employees need to be trained and educated on the best practices of new media participation to both encourage them to endorse their businesses’ brand among their online communities and to avoid making damaging statements about their company. Staff using new media are also able monitor online conversations and deliver messages of importance to the right people. It is vital to know if negative comments are being said about your business or brand in order to develop a plan for damage control.

4) Optimize your new media engagement

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the immensity of new media and are running on a tight schedule, it is important that you optimize your engagement by determining your audience, your goal and your action plan. Agencies, such as inmedia, can help you through this process.

5) Use the tools available

There are a number of tools available to help you manage your new media engagement.

Google Reader: If you are going to use new media, it is important that you participate in the blogophere. Google Reader helps pull all your favourite blogs into one place, group them into categories and skim the headlines of the latest posts to ensure you don’t miss anything.

Hootsuite: Integrates several accounts such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and allows you to update everything at once. It also allows you to view statistics from your tweets and send messages from the same area.

Tweetdeck: Is a desktop management application that allows you to update several sites at one time.

Tweepi: Is a web-based Twitter tool that sorts through your followers to see whose Twitter accounts have gone stale and allows you to easily un-follow these people.

Google Analytics: Allows you to analyze your web traffic. It reports how many people are coming to your site from various new media platforms and which search terms people are using to find your website.

Delicious: Lets you save all the website and articles online that you want to read later while it also allows you to see what other people are reading.

I am interested in hearing what you have to say. Why do you think businesses feel discouraged from using new media? Do you have any other suggestions for businesses on a tight schedule int

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