I don’t believe that every company should heedlessly integrate social media tools as part of their marketing. To be done successfully there is a certain level of expertise and a continuous commitment to create content that could take away from other, possibly more important, activities. If a small business with limited resources has enough work with their current clients and already has sufficient means of contact and interaction with their publics, it would probably be best to not to jump on the social media merry-go-round of creating content.
For large companies with strong brands I would say it is essential , at the very least, to monitor social media networks for negative conversations about their product or brand. An example of brand bashing was the Twitter rant of Heather Armstrong of dooce.com about her Maytag washing machine that wouldn’t work and the company refused to fix despite the service plan that she had purchased. On a side note, Heather’s original claim to fame was getting fired for work related posts on her personal blog, which has now become her full-time employment.
Companies working to strengthen their brand or individuals attempting to establish themselves as experts would benefit most from the interactive nature of social media and should make it a high priority and dedicate the necessary resources.
The best place to begin for any business that is unsure would be a SWOT Analysis to create a clear picture of the Pros and Cons of investing the time and effort into a social media presence.
Strengths – What internal advantages do you have? Expert personnel? Smart phones?
Weaknesses – What internal disadvantages exist? Staff resistance? Out dated equipment?
Opportunities – What externally could improve profits? Potential clients on Twitter? Customers asking if you have a Facebook page?
Threats – What externally could cause trouble for the company? Parody account on Twitter? Competition already has a strong presence?
After looking at social media as a whole and determining what type of priority it is and how much time and money can be put behind it, then it must be broken down into the different networks (Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Yelp, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc) and they must be prioritized as well. It’s also necessary to regularly reevaluate these networks as things can quickly change, just ask MySpace.
A sound and well thought out plan will be a map to start a strong positive presence in the online world which needs to translate to positive associations and connections in the offline world. That is why it is essential to create specific measurable goals as part of the plan.
Do your research, put your money on the right horse and you might come in a winner, but don’t spread your resources too thin: Know Your Limit, Stay Within It!
2 thoughts on “Is the Social Media Carousel For You?”
I do see your point but I somewhat disagree. I think that is’s important for every business to have a social medial presence. It is how you choose to use it that can cause you the problem. Peopled aren’t picking up the phone book anymore to find you, they are Googleing what they are looking for and if you don’t have a web presence, you won’t be found. Sure you might have a web sight but Google is always changing their codes so unless you are a SEO expert, you won’t be found. Google is putting more and more emphasis on social media and specifically Google+.
The trap that so many people get into is they spend too much time on Social Media. You need to set a plan and keep with it. Take an hour at the beginning of the week and plan what you want to do with Social Media efforts for this week. Then take 30 min per day to achieve your goals. Don’t go onto your personal Facebook page and chat with your friends.
My advice is invest $7 per month into the paid hootsuite. Then schedule 30 min per day to do your social media. You can schedule out your tweets, FB, Linkedin, etc so that they go out at different times of the day, when your prospects are likely to be online. You don’t have to physically be on your social media sites all day. Then leave them alone and let them work for you while you work for your business.
The other thing that you need to do is take your online relationships to offline opportunities. Many people spend so much time developing their online relationships that they don’t get the opportunity to turn them into clients. People do business with people they know, like and trust. Once you develop an online relationship with a potential prospect, meet them for coffee and talk about their needs. You will be surprised how effective social media is when used effectively.
Just my 2 cents,
Thanks for your thoughtful comment.
Working at a credit union I interact with people running very small businesses (where they are literally ARE the business, landscapers, carpenters, accountants, etc) while maintaining an online presence can be a small time investment, the initial learning curve can be steep for technophobes.
I do agree that you should at least be Google-able!