We’ve all heard (or used) the excuses to avoid social media
- fear of the unknown
- our customers don't use it
- we don't know enough about it
- there are no guaranteed results
- I have no time for it
- I’m nervous about feedback and the truth
and the list goes on and on.
The truth is, social media is here to stay. We all need to be onboard.
Social media is certainly no magic pill to a huge ROI. There are steps that need to be taken in order to provide the best opportunity for success.
Best practices include:
Setting goals and objectives - these goals might be to increase sales and profits while reducing costs or to generate a 25% increase in web traffic. Maybe your goal is to reduce customer service calls by 10%.
Create a plan - know what tools you will need to reach your goals (Facebook? Twitter? Blog?) and be sure to set benchmarks along the way. Consider what (or who) it will take to execute this strategy for your organization.
Measure results - verify whether the plan is working by measuring against the goals that were set. Check web analytics if you need to measure web traffic or evaluate customer service calls to see if your 10% reduction is being met. Social media is really pretty easy to measure.
Stay committed - stick with the social media process. It takes time. Many companies "join" and expect people to just show up. After a few months of trying, many companies quit because they don't see enough fans, activity, or followers. At the very least, social media is an annual commitment that can help provide your organization results.
Enhancing your branding and awareness, protecting your brand reputation, extending your PR, and facilitating research and development are other things that social media can do for your business. Enough of the excuses. Social media is no longer a fledgling fad. It's time to use social media to help you effectively market your organization. Many of your competitors are leveraging this valuable tool and you should be too.