I can’t tell you how many people we talk to that start the conversation with “we need to be on Facebook.”
As any consultant worth their weight in tweets will tell you, the proper next question is: why?
“Use a hammer” is not a strategy
Social Media sites…every single one of them, are tools. If “use Facebook more” is your social media strategy, you may as well pack it in. How many companies have a phone strategy or a fax machine strategy? Each of these platforms facilitates one, or many activities. It can be listening, content marketing, engagement, promotion or measurement. And within these activities are the possibility for outcomes. But no platform is a strategy, it is simply a mechanism to open up and opportunity.
Time and time again I see people jump into using Social Media without even first considering the goals. And many that do have goals, don’t take the next logical step and come up with a real plan to accomplish those goals. Much like planning a cross-country trip, you need to know where you’re going and plan out your journey to get there.
Bite the bullet and hire a professional
We’re past the point of careless experimentation. We’re not yet at the point where all of this stuff has fully matured. Do yourself a favor and do what I do with my finances, hire a professional. (Link is shameless self-promotion)
If you haven’t brought in someone with an understanding of basic marketing principles who simultaneously studies how new technologies are changing human behavior, then you are likely flying blind and will get caught up in the wrong metrics.
One way to tell if you’re on the right track is what you are measuring, or even IF you are measuring.
Ask these questions
Want to know if who you have is a hack? Ask the following 5 questions:
- What are we trying to accomplish with the social media tools we’re using?
- What is the business value of what we’re doing on social media?
- What is the value we’re delivering to our customers by using social media?
- How do the tools we’re using fit into our overall marketing strategy?
- How are we measuring success?
If any one of those answers is “getting more likes” or “followers” you may have the wrong person in place or simply someone without a deep enough understanding of what needs to be done.
If the person you have is only talking about growing a network, but never mentions what happens next, you may have the wrong person.
You should be able to ask “why” until you are satisfied. And I don’t mean until you are confused enough to stop questioning…I mean until you, as a business owner, have the answers you need to justify this activity. Otherwise, it’s a waste of your time.