Your Social Media Strategy in Perspective Oct 1, 2013
Your Social Media Strategy in Perspective
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.