A favorite business read and feed is BNET…the CBS Interactive Business Network. It has some great content for any stage of business across a variety of functional disciplines. Plus it’s a lot more practical than many of the other e-columns and newsletters that are out there. One of the recent posts was about being overly complicated in the flow of running a business, and among areas mentioned was the following reference about social media marketing:
Media – It’s so easy and so deliciously tempting. Your company can have a Facebook page, blog, Twitter page, YouTube channel, smartphone app, streaming video content, and all these cool icons on your Web site. But as I often say, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. If you have a solid, well-executed online/media plan and a clear vision of how every element serves your business, go for it. But if you are like many companies, you’re doing a lot of stuff just because others are… because it seems like you should. If you are dedicating resources to keeping up with the digital Joneses, is it doing anything for your business? Are you doing more than you need to? What has your Bebo page done for you lately?
Guess what? The author, Michael Hess, is right on. There are thousands of social media outlets, many of which can be used effectively to support specific business goals and drivers. But without knowing what and how you want to leverage those outlets to your specific business needs, you’re simply spinning your wheels and adding work that has no identifiable return. Even if you’ve already made the dive into social media marketing, now is the time to step back and evaluate what/when/why/where/how are you going to make your efforts tie directly to your company in the form of sales, market-share, customer service, product development, marketing, PR and/or human resources…to name a few. This takes serious consideration, not just a quick launching of a Facebook Page and claiming to be ‘social’.
We’ve been advocates of social media marketing for business by developing tools and resources that organizations can use to go through a methodical approach to determining whether social marketing is a fit, and what strategies and tactics are best suited to individual company needs. Forget what ‘the other guy’ is doing. Figure out what you need and how social media marketing can support your goals. Without going through that process you’ll be unlikely to see the benefit but will no doubt feel the pain of having to maintain a social presence without purpose.