Alright, so I’m being a little dramatic with my headline. But, a recent tweet from Tourism Currents highlighted that a fairly common client exchange of mine might be more widespread than I thought. Business owners believe they need to be diving into significant social media endeavors without considering the bigger picture and purpose of social media. And they’re making big mistakes.
So, why not talk about it? Isn’t that what this social revolution is all about? Transparency? Let’s take a step back and consider some of the mishaps we’ve seen, or even made. It’s likely that many of us have tripped over at least one of these manholes, so why not put up a warning sign? And if you’re someone who would like to get started on a social media strategy, but can answer ‘NO’ to any of the following, you should give your effort some thought before committing:
- Do you have a website? Social media isn’t a ‘free’ solution to building a website; it helps to drive people to one. If you don’t have one, build one.
- Do you see the value in social media? If you’re one of those individuals who still says “…but I really don’t care to know what my best friend from high school is having for breakfast,” you may not understand the potential. Watch this video -- and reconsider your thinking.
- Do you understand it? Social media can be confusing and for many, a little bit scary. Reach out and find resources to educate yourself. Ask your friends. Take a look at what other companies are doing and compare them. Who gets a lot of traction? Who doesn’t?
- Do you know why your business exists? If you’re the owner, CEO, director of marketing, or company spokesperson, it’s important for you to understand the why of what you’re doing. One should be impassioned about the pursuit of their company…otherwise, you will find it difficult to connect with your customers (and really, this applies to any form of marketing, but it’s especially true with social media). Being nicely steeped in your company’s mission will enable you to speak more fluidly to your audiences, avoiding robotic, sales-y, empty posts.
- Do you have the time? It doesn’t need to overwhelm your day, but it takes more time than you think and consistency is critical.
- Would you delegate social media outreach to anyone but an intern? Social media plays a significant part in most marketing strategies and will greatly magnify the visibility of your brand. Entrust this responsibility with someone who understands the importance, ‘speaks your brand,’ and knows how to engage your customers.
- Do you believe Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest are merely free places to post your latest offering, announcement, or ‘deal’? Through social media, we’ve been presented an opportunity to speak to our customers and supporters. Get their opinions. Ask them if they like what you sell. Get to know them and ultimately, you will offer a better product.