The Social Media Dilemma

It’s funny how subjects come and go like the seasons, a few months ago it didn’t seem to matter what company I was helping, their focus was on staff either problems with existing staff or the dilemma of trying to recruit new staff.  Recently it has been about Social Media, should we use it?  What should we put out there? Who should be responsible keeping it up to date?  The list of questions go on.

I wanted to attempt to de-mystify some of this stuff and give you one or two things to think about and discuss with your own organisation.

  1. Social Media is an extension of your marketing:  First and foremost social media is not an all encompassing entity that will get you rich quick, it is a marketing aid and should be treated as such; an on line / mobile extension of your current marketing activities.
  2. Should we be active as a business on social media platforms?  Again, treat this like another marketing initiative, if by utilising one or many of the different social media options out there will get you to your target market then yes it is an option.  If it wont get you in front of your target market, why would you waste your time and energy?
  3. What information should we be sharing on social media?  I take a rather simplistic view on this, if I am comfortable talking about a subject face to face with my clients, suppliers or sponsors then it is suitable for me to put it out there on social media.  I represent my business, I represent it’s core values, I abide by those core values and would not do anything to compromise these.  If I find myself second guessing whether I should be publishing something on social media it’s usually because I should not be doing it.
  4. Who within our organisation should update the social media platforms?  There are a couple of views on this, depending on the culture of the business, you will need to decide which best fits:
    • We are confident that everyone on board has bought into our culture and values and would not do anything to harm these, because of this confidence in our entire team, anyone can update our social media platforms at any time.
    • We have a dedicated resource that manages all the information and interactions that happen across our social media platforms, this ensures that other departments within the business do not lose their focus or efficiency by being continually distracted by these platforms.
  5. What if we get lots of negative feedback?  My answer to that is you reap what you sew, in the 3 years or so that I have been on social media I have never had any negative feedback, but I don’t have any unhappy clients either.  Yes it is a risk but if you are confident in what your business or organisation provides to it’s clients, this should not be a problem.  Of course you may want to post potentially controversial content to challenge current thinking, this is fine but the feedback you will get will be both negative and positive, it is how you answer to the negative comments that will determine the success of the post.
In summary I would suggest you approach social media like you would any other form of marketing initiative, it must represent the views of the organisation, it must help reach whatever marketing objectives you have in place and the people responsible for doing this must be given boundaries and be properly managed.