Here’s a quick tip for all those companies insisting that they need to have a social media presence: unless you’re planning on continuously improving your consumer’s brand-experience (and you’re thinking of setting up a 24/7 service to handle any and all complaints), don’t.
Social media marketing is not going to help your bottom line directly. It’s not a silver-bullet solution at all. It’s not going to bring you more clients overnight. In fact, if you’re not completely sure about what you’re doing, you can probably do more harm than good. You see, what social media marketing does is it puts your business under a microscope, beyond your control. It exposes all the dirty corners of your business to very bright lights. And that’s something many people who pursue this option aren’t ready for.
There are a lot of self-appointed gurus of social media marketing out there. Plenty enough who will tell you that all you need to do when it comes to social media is set up a forum or a Twitter profile or a Facebook group. These same people will tell you that you shouldn’t worry about outcomes where social media is concerned (“You’re being talked about. That’s all that matters”). They won’t tell you about the amount of work that goes into maintaining your social media presence (to the point where you may have employ someone full-time to monitor and maintain that presence) or that you’ll probably not see a visible result for some time. Most importantly, what these people won’t tell you is that if your front-of-house isn’t already talking to your clients now, none of these tools (because that’s all they are: communication tools) are going to be of any use to you.
Your social media marketing strategy starts on your office or shop floor. It starts from the day you decide how you’re going to run your business, when you decide how you’re going to treat your clients, when you decide what’s more important: profits or people. Money doesn’t talk back and money doesn’t expect you to respond to a complaint immediately and effectively. People do. Think hard about that before you venture into social media marketing. You may save yourself a truckload of pain.