Do it right: Using social media

You may be troubled by Tweets or flummoxed by Foursquare, but there's a business benefit to mastering social media.

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Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Make it appropriate. We can't all be Obama, so don't use social media in every campaign. Think about what you want to say and who you are trying to reach. Traditional approaches can be effective too.

Use the best channels. Know your audience inside-out before having a frenzied splurge on every social medium out there. Bebo is a good way to access a younger group, but blogs and Twitter feeds are more sophisticated.

Get the tone right. A formal style works for corporate blogs, but if it's a podcast or a snappy one-liner for a Twitter entry, make your style accessible.

Don't advertise, communicate. The point of corporate social media is to inspire loyalty to your brand. So don't alienate your audience with blatant sales-pitching. Tell people what they want to hear and they'll want more.

Involve the team. It's worth involving as many employees as possible, not only to keep the content lively but because it's a fun way to raise commitment and boost morale in sober times.

Keep it fresh. The most uninspiring websites are those whose last blog entry was in 2004 and there was only ever one person writing on it. Someone should be in charge to keep things ticking over.

Be creative. You are building an online community, so entertain and inform. Social media is good for talking to customers or creating a buzz around a new product. People don't use it to read the annual finance report.

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