One great thing about integrating social media as a marketing tool in your business is that you can hire very young, very technically savvy students to help you in this regard. If sending out tweets, responding to posts or updating your profile is not your idea of how to spend your Saturday or downtime hours, then consider hiring a student to lend a helping hand. Have kids? Consider having your babysitter post on Facebook, Linked In or Twitter in lieu of doing the laundry or unloading the dishes once the little ones are sleeping. For most students, these tasks beat laundry or the dishes any day. Since you are paying your sitter anyway, you might as well get the most out of it!
-- The Ladies Who Launch "Launch Tip" for today

I’m not sure how I feel about this. I don't think anyone should tweet/blog or anything else under your good name but you. But if you're posting as a company, it's possible more than one person will be involved. I suppose that's unavoidable.

What isn’t stated here (and should be) is that you’ve got to have a clear strategy for using social media effectively if you want to get good results. Simply “sending out tweets, responding to posts or updating your profile” isn’t enough. And asking someone who's not fully invested in the success -- and goals -- of your business to do this work is pointless. Social media will only work yield solid results if you approach it as you would any other marketing or customer service channel. You have to have a clear purpose and strong content.

To leverage the power of social media, you need a content strategy. That’s a fancy way of saying you need to have a clear goal for all the writing you’re going to be doing. That’s why we work with clients to create an inventory of salient concepts or messages, and a clear purpose (a think or do) for every communication.

An effective key message architecture comprises these key elements:

The institutional mission/vision statement: what you're hoping to do and how you'll know when you get there. It's a goal, an end in mind, a rallying cry.
SAMPLE: Microsoft: "A computer on every desk and in every home, all running Microsoft software." Huge! But clear and easy to understand, if a little over-the-top. But that's part of the allure.

A values proposition or positioning statement : how you or your organization fits with audience or client values. This is important because we support a business/organization or professional because of how we see ourselves and want others to see us. The positioning statement can be a separate sentence written in terms meaningful to the audience. Here's one I drafted for a former client back before ecommerce was everywhere.
SAMPLE: “Scientific discovery shouldn't be delayed because the right beaker is out of stock. SciQuest's online marketplace enables researchers to get the supplies they need faster.”

3-5 key messages or major concepts: these details support the values proposition and the mission/vision.Here's one from a professional association we work with.
SAMPLE: “Boost your career through our awards program and job bank; Learn new skills and techniques through our network, publications and annual conferences and workshops; Expand your network by volunteering and by using our online networking system.”

These proof points consists of statistics or other metrics that support the messages using any one (or a combination) of the following:

• Examples are good for people who’ve already bought into the organization — like employees, volunteers or board members — and don’t need convincing. They do need constant reenergizing and information.

• Explanations are good for people who are curious. They want to know how the organization works and how its activities support its goals. The media is often in this group. Evidence is good for decision-makers — consumers, strategic partners, high-end donors and anyone who needs to make the case.

• Evidence is the metric or statistic that provides proof for the explanation or example and can be used to add punch.

Combining these elements creates a messaging framework that will help you leverage the power of social media -- or any communication channel -- to meet your goals. There's no point in using these channels otherwise!

For more on this, check out The Messaging is the (Social) Medium unit from our workshop, Facebook and Twitter and Blogs, Oh My!

Want help developing your own messaging framework? Need someone to help you create meaningful copy for social media channels (and anywhere else)? Email me.