Social media is a very general term and isn’t limited to Facebook or YouTube. In fact, there are hundreds of different social media platforms from which to choose, and the challenge is determining which is best suited to your business, goals, and target market. Remember, social media is a shift in how people interact, share information and choose to communicate. Your business already does those things with your customers, so diving into social media simply means you’re willing to listen carefully to your customers and go where they’d like you to go.
The better question is: Is your business ready for social media?
In order to determine if your business is ready for social media and prepare your organization for embarking on a social media strategy, there are some discussion topics you should review as a team.
- Do you have a social media policy?
- Do you have someone at your organization to monitor and update each of your social media places? Does that person have access and permission at work, during work time to take care of these tasks?
- Do you have a plan for how to handle comments? What will you do with excellent customer feedback? How will you recognize and reward input? How will you respond to a negative comments or complaints?
- Is social media a good fit with your company culture? If you’re very private, your leadership is very private, and you typically agonize for months over how to word a memo, social media engagement will be a very large paradigm shift for your organization. This is the time to have these discussions and talk about what it means to be on social media. Remember, just because your business isn’t on social media, doesn’t mean people aren’t talking about you and/or posting comments, recommendations, and complaints on public venues like Yelp, Google, and Facebook.
- Discuss the fact that your business won’t own the social media platform you select. You will have no control over the rules and changes implemented there, or even if it’s in existence in a year. It’s critical you continue to maintain your website and incorporate your online strategies to include tools you do own such as your website, newsletter, and customer databases.
These five questions are an excellent place to start the social media discussion. If you are able to have some meaningful conversations within your organization and arrive at a consensus for each, you’ll be well on your way to having a successful social media experience!