Businesses that utilize social media would benefit from taking time to plan in advance. What forms of social media makes sense for the business? Who will be responsible for managing social media content? What audience is your customer going to best respond to best?
Most businesses feel pressure to have an online presence and so invest a considerable amount of time and energy without really understanding the return on investment. What other methods of communications might be more effective for your audience? Billboards, Blogs, Print media or in some cases there are businesses that do not invest any dollars in marketing and instead give those dollars to charity. One could argue that this good deed is clever marketing, as it gives the company a form of recognition.
In any case spend the time to research who you want to communicate with and how best to reach them. What information do they want to read that will engage them? Please, please, please whatever you do, do not constantly use any form of advertising to constantly be “selling” something to your customer. Most savvy shoppers are tired of always being sold something. Instead, be engaging and provide your audience with useful information. Through providing useful information your audience will get to know your brand.
The other issue I’ve encountered is that many times the right person is not providing content and can be damaging to the brand. An example of this is when Seyem’ first started, we had outsourced our social media. We were treated as any other customer was; however there was an incident where the outsourced company did a feature on me on Facebook where it also said I was the owner of the company. I was highly embarrassed by this as the ownership is the entire Kwantlen membership.
Culturally speaking as well, we say it takes a community, and so featuring only myself in the article was not culturally appropriate. This is again another form of communication where its important to be careful what you put in writing. In my generation, growing up we wrote in our personal journals or maybe on the bathroom wall. My journal could be shredded and the bathroom wall painted over. Today what you put on social media is forever and you don’t own that content.