3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Venture Across Multiple Social Media Channels
Lots of social media consultants and professionals insist that you need to be active and visible on all social media channels. On one hand, I agree. It’s important to be visible.We can find common ground with that general idea.
However, more than anything else, I think that it’s too easy for those of us in the industry bubble to forget that there is a lot of work that needs to be done that isn’t social media and frankly, time is very scarce for most of us. Even if ultimately a company or brand should be everywhere all the time, the truth is, it takes resources. Those resources are often stretched, prodded, poked, and pressured in ways that go beyond a reasonable expectation of performance. Sometimes, you have to make hard choices and new sales and direct current customer support will almost always take precedence.
So, here’s the deal – before you decide to venture across multiple social media channels, ask yourself these 3 questions:
Question #1- How much time do you have to devote to your social media efforts?
Your brand is probably best supported with a fewer number of quality implementations on social than a bunch of half-baked ones. In some markets that might not be true, but generally speaking, it is. Choose your channels based on your goals, where your target outreach audience hangs out, and the skill set within your organization.
Do your best to be where your tribe is and know beyond a shadow of a doubt what your purpose is in being there. This type of clarity will help a lot. Don’t assume, either, that you know, unless you’ve spend a good amount of time researching or reviewing other 3rd party research. I am a big fan of intuition but data really is powerful, so go get some. Confirm your hunches on where your customer is and what he/she is actually doing on social. Just because they are on Facebook doesn’t mean they want to engage with you – they could easily just be wanting to connect to their grandkids. Find out.
Question #2 – Are you committed to content creation and curation…or not?
Great social, especially if you are working toward thought leadership designation in your industry, needs a fantastic content strategy underneath it to give it legs. Someone has to invest their time and treasure into that process.
Original content, interviews, videos, podcasts, blog posts, and more need to flow and need to have your brand’s unique voice and spin on it. Just posting links of other people’s stuff won’t work for long, unless you’re a news outlet maybe. Heck, even news outlets want to be the original informer of breaking news, so even they value original content.
Aggregation can work in some industries, but it won’t work like original ideas that distinguish you as a leader. Understand the ominous content monster that will need to be fed and prepare yourself to do it or decide consciously that you aren’t going to. Either way, it will have consequences to the quality of your social media program.
Question #3 – How does your social media outreach complement your current company sales outreach?
I know that social media is not just a sales channel. I am a digital reputation strategist, so I completely get the need for a digital footprint that enhances positioning as a thought leader. I make my living doing it. I think that everything that everyone does in a company contributes to sales if the culture is aligned properly, so I don’t think the direct line salespeople are the only ones who are important, either. But, I also know this – you have to keep the lights on.
Social media may or may not give you immediate sales results but that doesn’t make it any less important. It takes time and devotion and focus. If you devise strategies that clearly demonstrate a support of the ultimate sales process, then you will be more likely to continue to get the financial backing and c-Suite support you need to keep funded.
Staying funded while your social media efforts really gain traction is the way to prove the case. You have to keep your own department’s lights on too and that takes proper mission alignment. Stay conscious of this.
Go forth and implement soundly!
Hard reality hurts to run up against. Hopefully, by being both pragmatic and creative (and throw in some hopeful while you’re at it), you will be on your way to a solid social media implementation. Start with a channel or two, know why you’re there, and keep at it. This works and you know it, and it’s only a matter of time before everyone else does too. Go knock ‘em dead, tiger!
[graphic by turkletom]
Published: April 9, 2012 By: