Here's a great analogy for managing your social media marketing ... the Social Media Orchestra!
Communicating and marketing with your customers or potential customers used to be simple. You had a few options such as TV, radio, print, etc. The advent of the Internet and the recent growth of Social Media have in some respect made this process easier, but at the same time considerably more complex as the number of technology, web and online tools has exploded.
Managing the diverse and expanding facets of Social Media can be compared to managing all the components of an orchestra. In the same way that an orchestra consists of different parts — percussion instruments, keyboard, strings, brass, etc. — so Social Media consists of different parts; Blogging, Microblogging, Networks, Wikis etc.
In both cases the musical instruments or the different components of Social Media can all work autonomously; and successfully so. However, the full sound, power and impact of an orchestra only occurs when the conductor enables all the members of the orchestra to play together in harmony. The same principle applies to Social Media.
Tying it All Together
To coordinate all the members to each play their instrument at the right time requires a conductor that uses a music score (a plan) to show him when each instrument should be played.
In that same way view yourself as the conductor of your own Social Media Orchestra. It’s not vital that you activate or participate in every section and there is no reason that you can’t start one section at a time. There is no right or wrong here, neither is there a deadline or time frame. This example of a Social Media Orchestra is to illustrate the fact that you are in control of your own participation and that it can be done piecemeal and on your own timeline.
However, similar to the music conductor you must use your Social Media sites (think instruments) harmoniously and with a specific plan (think song/tune) in mind. If you don’t, your result will create a less attractive result (think noise).
To help understand the Social Media Orchestra the new Swanepoel Social Media Report (2010) published last week week divides social media activities into three primary sections and nine secondary components. For more details on managing your own Social Media Orchestra review chapter six in the 2010 edition of the Swanepoel SOCIAL MEDIA Report.