Sometimes in the rush to get to the next insight, the next revelation, study, blog post or whatever, we forget some of the basics.

4 levels of community engagment gartner 08 The Basics of Social Media: Audience, Conversation, Conversion, Community

Contributors and creators are going to be your best bet for becoming influencers or evangelists. Make sure you are taking care of these folks in your community strategy. Treating all of your audience equally is a strategy failure. Know what each of these groups is trying to accomplish on your site, and make sure you simplify the path to THEIR goal, which is not always the same as YOUR goal. But that's the social part. A conversation not an advertisement.

worldmap of social media 12 09 The Basics of Social Media: Audience, Conversation, Conversion, Community

Notice that much of the world does not speak English or use Facebook. While it's the number one destination site in the US, China's QQ dwarfs the participation levels of Facebook.

In case you don't have a strategic plan, let us offer a great one to you from the Church of the Customer.

churchocustomer socialmedia plan The Basics of Social Media: Audience, Conversation, Conversion, Community

social media strategic plan - church of the customer

Get your ideas down on paper and communicate them to others. While brainstorming is a great process, it is worthless if the insights generated are left on the whiteboard.

Here are a few great examples of visual notes from some smartie pants. More can be found on Brian Massey's Conversion Scientist blog.

Gillian Muessig, SEOmoz

PubCon 6 The Basics of Social Media: Audience, Conversation, Conversion, Community

And Brad Geddes, bgTheory.com

PubConBrad GeddesNotes The Basics of Social Media: Audience, Conversation, Conversion, Community

I was trying to wrap this all in to a coherent post, but instead I leave it open for interpretation. The details are for you to fill in using these examples as launching pads for your strategy and sharing.

That's the thing, SHARING. If you are keeping it all to yourself you are depriving the rest of us from your brilliant thinking. And after all that's why I follow you on Twitter, to make sure I don't miss any important strategic ideas.

@jmacofearth
permalink: http://uber.la/2011/11/basics-of-social-media/

A few more posts about learning social media:

Link to the mobile version of my Visual Resume

Sharing is nice for everyone.
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