Is this how you feel about your digital engagement strategy?

I’ve spent the past week or so presenting the results of some social media buzz monitoring research to various teams in my department.
This is the first such exercise they have been exposed to, but the results are proving invaluable and will form the cornerstone of their approach to digital engagement.
We have uncovered all sorts of unusual, but popular, places where people are talking about social care issues.
However, I am beginning to wonder if you can have too much information, even when it seems such good value. The problem is that I am having to sell the idea of proper digital engagement for forthcoming projects, as well as present the results in a meaningful way. And when faced with lots of exciting opportunities the clients, well, panic.

“So, where do we start?”
“Isn’t this going to require a whole new team?”
“How do we manage this?”

And at this point, I can feel the glossy report and its valuable findings slipping into a dusty draw.
So I came up with some simple steps to take a digital engagement strategy forward:

1. Identify the top five spaces where your audience are talking, and listen. Use a simple dashboard like Netvibes.
2. When planning your next marketing project, take the conversation to your audience in their spaces. Don’t expect them to come to you.
3. Identify five influencers within your audience and get to know them. These could be people who post regularly in relevant forums, publish their own blogs, or Tweet regularly. They will most likely be good at engagement themselves.
4. Look at what content you are already producing and think about how it could be repurposed for an engagement channel. Got a newsletter? Could it be turned into a blog?
5. Make time for digital engagement. If you’ve invested time and money in finding out about your online audiences, then you need to decide whether or not you are serious about digital engagement. Ultimately it will require resource if you are to be successful.