Engaging in social media is significantly harder than it sounds. Some believe that social media is free, simply because it generally costs nothing to secure a Facebook page, Twitter handle, and YouTube account. The reality, though, is that “doing” social media not only requires a significant level of dedication and resources, but is something that companies have to consider as an ongoing cost of doing business.
Think of social media as very similar to a call center, website or (if appropriate for your business) e-commerce. You wouldn’t implement a cheap call center would you? What kind of customer service would that provide to your customers? How about an e-commerce system that only processed 5 in every 100 of your orders? How would that help your bottom line?
If you wouldn’t skimp on those technologies, then why would you skimp on a social media budget? Estimates indicate that companies aren’t even responding to the posts on their Facebook timelines, so why bother inviting your customers and potential clients to engage, if you’re not going to participate in the conversation?
So, before you decided to “do” social media, take some time to really think through some important questions:
- Do you have a social media strategy? Does it align with your overall marketing or customer service strategy?
- Do you understand the costs involved and the ongoing resource requirements?
- Have you truly started with a strategy and not a tactic (e.g. creating a Facebook page is a tactic)
- Do you have executive buy-in and do they understand what the proposed ROI may be for your activities (Hint: it may not be sales)
- Have you created a social media playbook which includes elements like:
- entrance plan
- engagement plan
- content plan
- response plan
- crisis plan
- exit plan
Even better, if you’re being wooed by one of those social media “gurus”, “wizards” or “experts” be sure you ask them these 10 questions to ensure that they are qualified to even assist you in developing your social media strategy.
Have thoughts about this comic or the requirement of devoting time, budget and resources to your social media activities? Share them in a comment!