It is true that social media is a cheap and effective way to market your company, however, it is actually NOT right for everyone and everything.  Shocking but true!

Social Media in the wrong hands can be as detrimental to a company as it can be positive, for numerous reasons so here’s what you need to bear in mind before opening up a social media can of worms:

How much does time cost you?

The main selling point with social media is that it’s FREE! This is, of course, true in terms of creating pages however it is incredibly time intensive when social media is used effectively.  A social media page is a direct link to your company for stakeholder (be it a customer or your competitors). Social media site needs to be monitored so you can respond and react promptly – that is the main reason people use the medium! You can’t open social media accounts and never do anything with them – your followers will not like being ignored and who knows what you are leaving written there for the world to see!

Sell, Sell, Sell

This might work on the car forecourt but this is not a winning strategy for a social media campaign.  Even worse than being ignored is being bombarded with sales messages – people join social media to keep up with the things that they are interested in.  So keep them interested don’t hit them with sales messages – they need entertaining, regular (once a day is fine) information and two-way communication otherwise you risk losing them forever.

What it says on the tin

For every social media, you need to write an original bio about the person/ company behind the keyboard. People tend (and correctly) to use this space to sell themselves – but whatever you write here needs to be true for example

“We are a book publishing company who want to hear your views on our books, we run regular competitions and always happy to hear from our customers”

So what can you expect from people when they see this – they will leave comments, feedback possibly negative – how long will it take you to respond and how are you going to respond bearing in mind it is the public arena? Running regular competitions is a great way to gain followers but you have to follow this through and bear in mind all the legal requirements for running competition on social media sites.

 A common voice

No you don’t have to talk like Barbara Windsor but you need to establish the voice you want to use on the accounts and who has access. Typically it is the marketing department but other business areas may be running the accounts – the fewer people with access to accounts the better, so consistency is maintained. The other key things to be aware of is spelling, grammar, tone of voice and most importantly an awareness of what is acceptable to say on a business account. All of these things heavily reflect on your product, company, brand and reputation.

So when you’re considering starting a social media remember it is not right for every company if you don’t have time, understanding and a lot of patience it could be more of burden than help.