Social Media is not the solution…
… it’s just the tool that get’s you there.
Just recently a friend of mine posted this question on Facebook. “How would you best convince a company to start using social media? If you had to, why would you tell them to use twitter?”
I gave him this answer:
The big question is not, whether or not they should use social media/twitter. Twitter is just a tool. The big question is, what do they want to accomplish and how Social Media/Twitter can help?
Social Media is a great tool but we all know, it is not for everyone. If you want to enter a conversation with your customers you better be prepared.
If you have identified a company’s/brand need, the rest is, in my opinion a piece of cake. Show them the numbers, demographics, leads generated and best practice solutions.
Social Media can be a success story, if you know what you want to accomplish. If you don’t know it and you just want to be in it, you better leave it. It takes a village to monitor social media and keep the conversation going. You have to be quick. It’s not like advertising, where you have time to perfectionize the message you are sending out to the public for months. It is more like Public Relations. Only that the public are not just some stakeholders, it is literally “the public”. A lot of company’s are out there but only few have mastered social media, yet.
If you have identified social media as a potential tool to support your goals, decide on how you want to present yourself and what would be most valuable to your customers. Do you want to establish yourself as a thought-leader in the business, or do you want to give your company a face, a persona. Do you want to act rational or emotional? What works best for your company to achieve your goals? Treat social media as “normal” life. You don’t want to interact with someone who is changing his/her mood or tone of voice all the time. Do you want to enter a conversation with someone who is unpredictable? I don’t. I want to talk to people I trust to give me input and answers I might not have thought of. But I have to trust them first.
You can transfer people’s needs in conversations from “real” life to “online” life. That means, that you have to talk in one voice to establish trust. When trust is established you can send your valuable messages out and will reach people who are interested in what you have to say.
Take my advice: Social Media is nothing you want to rush into. It’s a strategy that leads you to your goal. But it might not be the right strategy for you. If it is: You better make sure you do it right. We don’t want you to get burned!