There is a widespread assumption in the marketing community that social media is right for all organisations. But the reality is that not everyone is yet ready to make a success of social media.
So what you need to do before you embark on social media for your business.
Have a plan – Of course, social media should be interactive, but you need to have a plan of what you are going to say. Imagine that I have gathered of the people who you want to talk to into one room. You can go into that room and talk to them once per day, so wouldn’t you spend some time preparing what you will say? Course you would – and social media is no different.
Get some resource – An often quoted fact is ‘social media is free’ – kind of true…! Yes, it doesn’t cost any money to create a social media account. But it does take time to build up your audience, create and source great content, interact with your audience and measure the effect of social media on your bottom line. And time is money. It’s no coincidence that the best social media accounts have dedicated people running them – bolting it on to someone’s day job might work in the short-term, but if your ambitions are grand, your resource should reflect that.
Prepare for the long-game – Searching on the web will show you lots of social media short-cuts – get 10,000 Twitter followers for a small fee. However, if you want your audience to be active, engaged and well targeted, this takes time to achieve. I have met with CEOs who have said “We have been on Facebook for a month and got nothing back yet, so it’s not for us”. Unless you are prepared to commit to the long-game, social media isn’t for you.
Its not all good news – The good and bad news is that you will get feed-back from your customers on social media. You need to be prepared to read or hear things that you don’t want to hear, as well as having a plan of how to react to that feed-back. The best practitioners react to negative feed-back excellently.
If you can honestly say that you are doing all of the above, you may well be making a success of social media. If you don’t have the above in place but do have a presence on social media, you are not making the most of the social media opportunity. If you don’t like the sound of the above, then I’m afraid social media isn’t for you – yet!