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The 4 S’s of Social Media

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By Bruce Newman

Traditional marketing programs emphasize the importance of the 4 P’s (Product, Price, Place (distribution), and Promotion). Utilizing various combinations of these components allow marketers to reach many different target markets.

The growth of social media transformed the 4 P‘s into the 4 R’s (Review, Respond, Record, and Redirect).

  • Review – what the social media community is saying about you
  • Respond – appropriately and accurately to any postings or comments
  • Record – providing short videos that inform and educate
  • Note: I prefer Recognize – brand recognition and its promotion/evolution
  • Redirect – providing content across multiple sites to improve visibility and search engine rankings.

They are not as established as the 4 P‘s but perhaps that is because of their ―newness; after all, social media has only been around for a few years.

Nevertheless, I think they can be improved. As companies are increasingly viewing social media as both a networking and business tool, they need a foundation which espouses its key principles.

Recently, while I was working on a presentation that discussed the 4 R‘s, my wife came over and asked, shouldn‘t I use the 4 S‘s for social media? Upon reflection, I thought she had made a valid point and subsequently developed the 4 S‘s. As a test, I discussed both the 4 R‘s and the 4 S‘s during my presentation and asked the audience which they preferred. The overwhelming response favored the 4 S‘s.

The 4 S’s 

  • Social – being sociable and appropriate is #1
  • Sharing – share your relevant content and profiles across multiple social media sites
  • Sustain – your presence by consistently providing appropriate and substantive responses to any postings or comments
  • Strategy – create and implement an effective social media plan

The 4 S‘s exemplify the behavior and potential of social media.

Of primary importance is sociability. If you‘re not sociable, honest and conscientious, you will not be successful in this medium. It is these interactions with people and communities that will form the basis for all subsequent communications.

While doing this, you should share valuable and relevant content – of any format – with peers and your community, sometimes across multiple social media platforms, when appropriate. One aspect that is extremely important and yet frequently overlooked is the completion of your profile(s) on each social media platform since almost all of them have a personal and business component.

Increasingly, companies are using social media for real time interactions with prospects, customers and interested respondents. Sustaining a presence through new entries – often across multiple platforms – and quickly servicing posts and comments on a regular basis can help brand a company as an industry leader.

Given the number of social media users, the large number of social media platforms, and its growing ranking relevance, developing and implementing an effective strategy to achieve your goals is rapidly becoming a necessity. Just having a Facebook page for example, is no longer sufficient.

By following the guidelines of the 4 S‘s, you will have the foundation upon which to build an effective and strategic social media presence to help achieve your goals.

About the Author
Bruce Newman is the Vice President at The Productivity Institute, LLC, and a leader in locating, evaluating and matching the specific areas of expertise of consultants to the needs of its clients. An expert on social media,
Bruce constantly writes and gives talks on many facets of social media including branding, social media strategies and policy. He has also developed several social media programs including Social Media Policy and the Social Media Starter Kit. Bruce can be reached at: Info[AT]prodinst[DOT]com

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