Quite often I see TV commercials where the announcer will say “Catch us on Facebook and Twitter!”
While its great that more companies are using social media to connect with their audiences, just because social media is an option, it doesn’t mean that you need to be part of the revolution.
It’s painful to go to a company’s YouTube, Facebook or Twitter page and see very little or no activity.
If you are a company that is interested in using social media, make sure ask yourself these few questions:
1.) Who is my target audience?
Do research to find out if your audience actually uses social media.
Grab a tool like Surveymonkey and send out an email to your audience to gauge their social media usage. You might learn that your audience like Twitter over Facebook or Pinterest over YouTube.
No use wasting time and energy on creating a social media account, when your audience’s only use of the internet is their Hotmail account, (I have a friend who still has hers…Don’t laugh, she’s still proud of her relic account and Y2K survival kit.)
2.) What is the purpose of your Facebook page or Twitter?
Are you using social media to engage and connect or simply putting up press releases? If it’s the latter, bail out now. No one cares about press releases, they want to connect with YOU.
3.) How often will I post a message on Facebook or Tweet?
Will you send out messages everyday, once a week, several times a day? It’s not about volume, but social networks are useless unless you give your audience a consistent message.
Also make sure if people ask a question, you answer. Depending on how many people send your messages, it might be impossible to answer all of their questions. If that’s a case, choose a few everyday to answer or as many as you can. People will be more forgiving if you answer a few of their questions than not answering any of them.
4.) Who will sending out the messages?
Who will handle the messaging? Will it be the VP of Marketing department or the Social Media Director? The CEO or an intern?
Whomever handles your social media, make sure it reflects the voice of the company? Also, like with tip #1, know your audience. Using the term “Dude” might not fly if your audiences still watches reruns of “Murder She Wrote” on TV Land.
If you don’t have a person in place to handle your social networks, do not launch a social site wait until you find someone in or out your organization to take the digital reigns.
Don’t forget that the SOCIAL part of social media could mean anything.
So if your simple 8 X 10 flyer on a community board brings in your biggest audience, then you are being SOCIAL because you connected with your audience in a community.
You just did it in a non-digital way.
Question: What companies do you of that has not used their social networks in a correct way?