Social media is a great new marketing opportunity for many companies. It offers you the ability to brand yourself relatively inexpensively, target your marketing efforts and reach your core audience directly and unfiltered.
At this point in time, many companies have identified that there is value in social media, but they have no idea what to do with it. They ask their in-house, pop culture fanatic, who has the only Facebook account in the organization, to “do” their social media. In such a case, they are doing nothing more than wasting time, money and a great opportunity.
You can spot these companies from a mile away. You may even be one (though I doubt it since you are reading a blog right now).
Here are a few tell tale signs of a company in need of social media help. I will focus this post specifically on Facebook and Twitter since they are usually where said companies start their social media efforts.
Facebook: These are the companies that have a Facebook page with a decent amount of followers primarily because the followers sought the brand out due to customer loyalty. These companies tend to only allow one way conversation on their wall- they post, you listen and like. These companies usually have nothing on their page that differentiates them from their competition. Basically, their Facebook page exists for the sake of existing.
Twitter: you can almost always spot these companies by just looking at their Twitter page. They haven’t created any lists and have a decent number of followers while following very few people…or no one at all. They only tweet company news; Retweet nothing; Mention no one and respond to nothing…clearly not listeners.
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When companies play these roles on Facebook and/or Twitter, there is nothing social about their media. They are broadcasters and not engagers. Their following may grow over time but usually it is due to brand loyalty or offline promotional spending and not because of engagement. A following built in such a fashion is less likely to respond to a social media call to action and pays less attention to your updates.
There are three types of brands that I have seen display these characteristics the most- political campaigns that are cheap and think interns are capable of doing everything, mid-sized companies that are owned by one person that is a do-it-yourselfer at heart and smallish media outlets that are still operating under the antiquated impression that the only news important is the news that comes from them. There are, of course, a number of exceptions, but this is definitely the trend.
Reputation is everything in social media so you need to do it right. If you are thinking about exploring social media marketing or if you think your company fits the description above, get help! Of course, before you to a consultant, make sure you check out their social media influence.
I can’t stress enough just how important it is to talk to someone that knows what they are doing before you expose your company to the social media world. Don’t go it alone!