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Kevin Dean
by Kevin Dean
on November 28, 2011


 This blog is good, but we'll be honest, it's kinda old. So, we updated it and made a new version that you can get to right here. Enjoy!


Starting a social media account for your business from scratch can be a daunting task, riddled with potential pitfalls. Whether you're a large organization or a start-up, using social media to reach potential clients and share your content is a must-do in today's digital world. Without social media, you may appear behind on the times and untrustworthy to potential customers. Here are The Five C's of Social Media Marketing that you will need to consider in all of your consumer engagement initiatives. 

1. Community
2. Contribution
3. Conversation
4. Connection
5. Collaboration



Social media is about groups of people coming together to form an online community. These communities are digital destinations that enable people with similar interests to share experiences and engage with each other, despite geographical boundaries. As a marketer, it is your responsibility to identify the communities that your consumer actively participates with, and engage with them. While doing persona research you should know what LinkedIn groups they are part of, Twitter chats they engage in, and publications they read. 


Contribution relates to the content that you publish to the appropriate communities. Be sure to create original content, in the form of blogs, eBooks, video, etc. that highlights your product or services. If you're on social media and you're not contributing to the conversation, then you will look like a static bystander instead of an industry thought leader. Establishing a posting schedule is an excellent way to ensure you're always part of the conversation. 


To be effective with social media marketing you have to move beyond broadcasting your message to having two-way engaging conversations with consumers. The conversations that you participate in should build awareness, educate, and build trust within the communities you participate in. When a lead comments on your post or blog comment back, this helps make your brand look more human. 


Social Media offers an opportunity to make connections that are mutually beneficial to your organization and the consumer. Stay up to date with "suggested people" to follow on your social channels and invite people to "like" or "follow" you to build even more connections. Encouraging people to like to your page doesn't have to be annoying or spammy, if your content is relevant to their pain points strangers are more likely to accept your invitation. 


The best way to ensure that consumers will purchase your product or service is to involve them in the product development lifecycle. Social Media give you the unique ability to get opinions from consumers, making them feel more invested in your company's choices. Try starting a Twitter poll asking them to express what features and functionality they want in your next product offering. You can also collaborate with influencers, asking them to be a guest blogger on your website or maybe join you for a future podcast project.

Editor's Note: This blog was originally published in 2011 and has been updated for accuracy.  

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