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  • Your Social Media Strategy in Perspective Oct 1, 2013

    Your Social Media Strategy in Perspective

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    For several years, Internet marketing gurus have been preaching that every organization, regardless of its size, should have a presence on as many social media platforms as possible. The result has been a plethora of pages that are poorly-executed and inadequately maintained and yet cost hundreds of hours of management time each year.

    In many cases, the heart of the problem has been a failure to think through the organization's social media strategy as a subset of its overall marketing strategy. There is no requirement that your organization participate in social media any more than it is required to print a brochure or advertise on TV. Participating in social media only makes sense if doing so is a cost-effective means of achieving your marketing objectives.

    The lure of social media has been, first of all, that it is free. (It's not.) Secondly, that it is a fantastic opportunity to engage with potential customers. (Maybe, but not necessarily.) The truth is that social media requires regular involvement -- at least a few times a week -- by members of your management team who understand your business well enough to be trusted to act as its spokesperson.

    Participating in social media is time consuming. This is a very "retail" form of marketing -- like shaking hands and kissing babies is a retail form of politics. Though you can use social media strictly as a broadcast medium and avoid engaging with individuals, the more cookie-cutter and less personalized your messaging, the less effective it is likely to be.

    None of this is to say that you should avoid participating in social media. Just retain a healthy skepticism and be sure you have a good understanding of why how your use of social media fits into your overall marketing strategy.