Is Your Business Ready for Social Media? Here Are Three Questions to Ask

How many times have you heard (or said): “We should start a Facebook page to post about the great stuff that we do.” Or, “If we’re not on LinkedIn, we may as well not exist.” Or, “Why don’t we have more Twitter followers?”

Probably plenty. Your company does lots of things, and it’s likely that some of them would work well on social media.  But being on social media is not the same thing as having a social strategy – and a social strategy is what will make social media actually work for your business. So, before you jump onto a platform, create your page and start posting, there are a few things that need to be decided first:

Who do you want to talk to? 

Are you looking to keep talking to your existing customers?  Maybe you’re looking for social media to help you find new customers?  Or you want to share knowledge and engage in dialogue with your colleagues in your industry?  If your defined audience is “everyone,” it will be somewhere between difficult and impossible to create an effective social media strategy. When you define your intended audience, setting up a content strategy, platform specialization, and messaging becomes so much easier – not to mention more effective.

Who will be doing the talking?

Will it be your company president, marketing director, an intern?  First off, you wouldn’t put an intern on the evening news to represent your company, so please don’t put them in charge of representing your company on your social channels. It’s a simple, common misstep that can have serious consequences for your brand. Regardless of who posts on behalf of your company, be sure that guidelines are in place to make your messaging platform, tone and direction clear and easy to communicate. Think of it as media training for online channels.

What are you going to talk about?

Prices Slashed 50%! We’ve just been recognized as a Top Place To Work 🙂 24 Hour Sale! Meet Our Newest Staff Members….it’s easy to see: Digital whiplash is a real thing, and it isn’t good for your communications.  Focus conversation on your social platform on what you really want to talk about – your workplace, your environmental policies, employee highlights. Save the E-Commerce and latest sales initiatives for other platforms or channels. You’ll build more trust with your audience that way.

These often-missed initial three steps will help guide the development of a comprehensive social strategy. By doing this important legwork up front, you will be well on your way to having your social media strategy pay off big.