We talk, I talk, and everyone else talks a lot about social media, social networks and the impact it’s having on our online lives. Right now it has yet to hit critical mass, though you might not think that by looking at the lastest numbers.
With that being said, there are tons of those who wish to be on the inside looking out rather than vice versa. And those are the people that “work” for marketing companies, ad agencies, and Fortune 1000 companies. They have been approached by their bosses and they’ve been charged with figuring this social media thing out and how they, as a company, can leverage it for their benefit.
Problem is, trying to sort through the ones who have, the ones who claim they have, and the ones who wish they’d had. I recently encountered a company that HAS in a big way. If you have not yet determined how you are going to use social media for your company, perhaps your first step should be to undertsand the many uses. Once you see the many ways that it can be used to either brand a product, brand a company, or drive traffic, sales and eyeballs, then you can start to figure out what the big picture is of social media. But to understand the big picture, as I said earlier, you need to talk with people who HAVE done it.
I had the privledge of sitting down with Jason Breed from Neighborhood America awhile back to discuss their award winning Elavate platform, and their business model in general. A quick blurb about NA, Neighborhood America was recently recognized for Best Social Networking Solution by The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) Winning a Prestigious CODiE Award.
Here’s some quick perspective for you; More than 1,100 CODiE nominations were submitted by 600 companies in a total of 76 categories. A panel of expert judges narrowed the field to 340 nominees, from which the 2008 CODiE winners were chosen.
The point of this post is this, if you are looking for guidance, direction, and advice from someone like Jason or a company like Neighborhood America who is smack dab in the middle of social media, and social media marketing, then you need to look no further. Of course, I know they are not the only company out there that can roll out a solution for you, but as a starting point, it sure is a good start. Seriously, if you were to decide right now, today that you were going to go out and evaluate social media companies, how are you going to do it? What will it be based on? What is your criteria? I do recall awhile back that Chris Brogan created a cheat sheet on how to evaluate a company for social media marketing services, you may want to check it out. At the least, Chris writes a good blog on all things social.
From a social media marketing standpoint, you may also want to check out Scott Monty’s blog site as well. You may find it usefull depending on your grasp of social media.
All of this though makes me think that perhaps my next worthy post should be a a listing of companies poised to help you figure out what your social media marketing initiative will be. If you know of some other worthy companies, I am certainly willing to listen. Besides, isn’t that part of the conversation that we are all engaged in right now?
One more thing for J Breed…. Go bulls…