More businesses are now taking a serious look at the use of social media and how it can help them become more successful with their sales and marketing. Maybe they should set up a Facebook page to upload their company photographs and interact with their customers? Maybe they could set up a Twitter account to promote last minute deals and search for people mentioning their products?
The problem with most of these ideas is they focus on the technology of social media and encourage companies to judge their success with benchmarks such as the amount of followers and fans they receive in their first month. The focus should really start by looking internally and reviewing their own companies operations, strategies and goals. The tool is only going to work if you know what it’s there for.
Stepping into the social world comes at a price; one many companies do not wish to expose themselves too. Being social requires you to be more transparent, more interactive and more conversational. Too many people leap onto the social media bandwagon expecting instant payback from their actions but like any other endeavor, it takes planning and effort to succeed and reap the benefits.
Social Media is easy to start, the tools are free and most people know someone within their company who has ‘experience’ of using this space but it takes a lot of effort too and it’s not something you can just ‘switch off’ if you change your mind. It’s important to go into using social media with your eyes wide open.
Remember that social media activity should compliment your existing marketing strategy and that it will take time, discipline, relationship building and transparency to get it right. Make sure you have the right planning in place before venturing into this unforgiving world.