Social media has become a key component of any online venture these days. Its allowed for people to maintain and create relationships over the internet. So far, advertising agencies have used social media for people to create relationships with the brand only as long as it happens in the three months that their campaign is running.

Offline you would not have a relationships with a good friend by keeping in contact with them for three months and then switching off your mobile phone, email and all other forms of communication for nine months and then starting the relationship up again.

So why do advertising agencies think it is okay to do this in social media?

Although you may think its a great idea to run a MySpace/Facebook page for a fictional character from your advertising campaign, what happens when the campaign ends? What will the brand advocate think when you communicate with them for three months and then totally ignore them? What do your customer think when they see your MySpace Page that hasnt been updated for 12 months?

There are a number of social media channels that present a cost effective way to have a high involvement with your most passionate customers. If you are going to start a blog, Facebook page, twitter feed, do not look to your short term tunneled vision advertising agency for help. But then who should you trust with your social media strategy?

All is not lost!

The Australian online marketing community is built around the mantra of helping everyone out. There are a number of forums where you can ask for help on how to get involved in social media. even has one :-) A great forum with a lot of the brightest digital marketers as active members, so you could always ask for advice there

Practice what I preach

I am such a strong believer in how easy it is to run a social media campaign, that I will show you in a number of posts over the next few months how easy and cost effective it is to set up a social media channel for your company. I will do this with a real company and product, so heres the deal readers:

If you would like me to help your company set up a social media channel, send an email to Scott, the Editor here at Ill pick one of your companies and over a series of posts Ill detail my efforts to develop a social media strategy, which will include advice on:

  • setting up a blog
  • optimizing that blog with RSS feeds, Google Analytics, Technorati etc
  • getting involved in the online community that already exists around your brand/product/market

So theres the challenge people. Send your emails explaining why your company needs a social media strategy and you never know, you could be picked.

If you also have advice for the community on how best to employ a social media strategy, why not check out the forum discussion dedicated especially to that exact task – see what we did there?