September has been an exciting month with plenty of news in the social media world.
Facebook introduced smart lists, changes to the news feed and new photo displays.
Then Google+ opened to the public, launched a search feature and added new features to Hangouts.
Not to be outdone, Facebook released even more changes during its F8 conference, including a complete overhaul of the profile.
All of these announcements and changes create buzz and excitement.
But make sure you don’t get lost in the features.
You still need a strategy
It doesn’t matter which social network you’re using and what features are available. Without a social media strategy, you won’t achieve results.
In a previous post, I wrote about the importance of creating a social media mission statement that helps define what you’re trying to accomplish with social media.
Without a mission statement and a strategy to put it into place, your efforts to use the features of any network will be jumbled, disconnected and hard for customers to follow.
It’s still about the fans / customers / followers
Brian Solis’ post on the HBR blog discussed the impending flood of “unlikes” that businesses will see if they fail to deliver what customers want.
Your business’ presence on social media isn’t about you. It has to be about your fans, customers and followers. If it isn’t, you’ll find yourself without any fans, customers or followers rather quickly.
Figure out how to deliver value
You need to learn what your customers want and then you need to give it to them.
Well, for starters you could ask them. Create a survey or simply ask them through your social networks what content they would like to see on your page.
Your analytics can help you learn what content is valuable, too. What types of posts get the most likes or retweets? Where do you see the most comments and discussion? What posts have no comments or negative comments?
Another way to discover what your fans want is to see what your competitors are doing to engage them. Chris Brogan posted an interesting review of grocery store brands on Twitter this week. Some brands are approaching social media the wrong way, but you can learn from those who are doing it right.
Features do matter
You shouldn’t ignore the new features and latest updates. Features are important because they affect the way you provide value to your fans. They enable you to share and add value in new ways. They are the tools that help you achieve your goals with social media.
Just don’t get lost in the new features and lose sight of your social media mission statement and your followers. Your job is still to provide valuable content, no matter which feature you use to send it out.