It takes more than establishing a presence on Facebook or Twitter, or launching a corporate blog to make effective use of social media. As Heidi Cohen points out, it takes a lot of work to make your social media marketing plans work.
As the new shiny thing on the marketing block, social media is filled with both mystery and promise. Many businesses are just beginning to get to acquainted with it, and may be infatuated with what it seems to promise.
If you read this blog regularly, though, you know we’ve said all along that social media is not magic. It’s a tool and like any tool, it takes time and effort to wield effectively and to learn what it can and cannot.
Cohen’s post summarizes points about effective social media that you’ll find in other posts on These include:
• Frequent updating
• Consistent messages
• Participation by management and employees
• Clear guidelines for contributors
• Dovetailing online and offline efforts
• Buy-in and commitment by leadership

She doesn’t bullet-point it, but running through Cohen’s post is a point we cannot stress enough: Your social media need targeted, meaningful and creative content—content that instructs, informs, motivates and, yes, entertains those who access it.
We’d also add that media such as blogs and websites should embody good, functional design that makes them easy to navigate and to find desired content.
Each of Cohen’s tips suggests metrics to measure the effectiveness—or lack of effectiveness—of your social media strategy. That’s something we do for clients—we call it a Content Marketing Intelligence Report or CMIR. Measure early, measure often, and respond to what you learn.