Paul Provost, President
Yes, social media is all the rage.
Yes, it can be incredibly effective for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
No, it is not the solution to all your problems nor is it the golden goose that everyone and their mother seems to be saying it is. Did your mother ever use the phrase, "If your friends jumped off the bridge, would you?"
In other words, before you jump in, take a moment and ask yourself the following 12 questions and then ask yourself if you really are ready to let loose on social media.
- Do you have an overall marketing plan and a strategy for how social media fits in? Do you have a clear definition of your customers and what they are looking for (their needs) and why they buy from you?
- Are your other marketing tactics running smoothly? If not, you may be better off fixing and optimizing existing tactics than starting fresh on social media. Turning to social media is not a "quick fix" to a larger issue.
- Do you understand the differences between the major social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn) and how industry leaders use them effectively?
- Have you researched and defined the social media channels that you should focus on (hint: you should be where your customers are)?
- What will success look like to you, and what Key Performance Indicators will you use to track it?
- What will your current clients and prospective customers gain by following you (news, content, coupons, etc.)?
- Are you up-to-date with the latest in social media technology? This includes managing multiple social media channels from one app as well as analytics?
- A. Does your firm have a marketing manager, sales person or admin staff that is familiar and comfortable with the social media channels you've chosen - will they just be managing it (via a 3rd party) or generating content for it? Who will respond to messages and comments? When that person is on vacation, who will respond then?
B. Do you need or have access to a 3rd party social media provider that can a. understand your company, industry and brand, and b. generate relevant and interesting content on a regular basis?
- Do you have professional brand standards that your company follows? Will the person in charge of social media know what to say and how to say it? Even more importantly, will he or she know what not to say?
- Above and beyond staffing, what budget will you allocate to your social strategy (social media technology, promoted Facebook posts, graphic design, etc.)? Do you have internal capabilities to create valuable content for your followers?
- Do you have a Content Management System website that can be easily updated with fresh content for your followers?
- Do you have a system in place to track logins, passwords and people with access to your accounts? If a person with access leaves your organization, will you be prompted to remove their access?
We hope that this list of questions will get you thinking about whether you're ready for social media, and some of the pieces you might be missing before you choose your profile pictures and passwords. Social media can be a powerful marketing tool, but only if you have the systems and strategy in place to use it effectively.
Of course we don't just ask questions, we answer them too. You can email me directly at email@example.com or call 204-474-1654 to talk to one of our marketing experts and receive a free consultation. We're here to help.