This blog concerns itself with business social media - the ways you adapt social media to use in the business world. Today's offering comes from Nicole Kelly, at Social Media Explorer (http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com) , a terrific site for all things Social Media.
Some of these are things we've looked at in this column before, and Kelly's words can't be said any better than reprinted below.
Social Media Red Flag Pick Up Lines
Social media is a great strategy for every company. If you don’t have a social media strategy you will be left behind.
Social media isn’t the “right” answer for every company. There are several factors to consider before diving into a social media strategy. Do you have the resources to support a social media strategy for the long-term? Are there natural places within your current marketing strategy where social media can be integrated? Are there conversations happening about your industry already?
There is no magic list of social media channels that applies to every company and industry. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are not the end all be all of social media and for many companies they are the “wrong” places to be. The big question here is whether or not your audience is actually “participating” in a social media channel. If they are which ones are they using? The reality is that for many industries Facebook and Twitter are not the right channels, but represent a drain on resources that could be better allocated to social media sites where their audience actually participates.
We will manage your entire social media presence for you…it’s effortless for you
There are definitely companies that will do this for you, but it raises a huge red flag. Social media isn’t about pushing out a bunch of marketing messages, it’s about engaging in conversation. Who would you allow to have a direct conversation with your customers and prospects? What kind of training is involved before you let someone pick up the phone for the first time? Allowing a social media provider to manage all of your social media channels without active engagement and commitment from your team to support them can be disastrous.
We developed a strategy for Company X that led to over a bazillion fans
Anytime a provider uses the number of fans or followers or views as a gauge for the success of a campaign, I throw up a little in my mouth. Were the fans and followers relevant to the company? Did the people who viewed your video do anything as a result? Did any of these people do anything that actually contributed to the financial goals of the company?
We have an experienced social media team
Unfortunately, this is more often than not a bold faced lie. There aren’t enough people who have successfully created, implemented and measured a social media strategy for a business to work for all of these providers who are making these claims. I’ve seen this range from people who have no “real” experience in social media to a team of fresh out of college “interns” being managed by one person who has a little bit of experience. Make sure to ask exactly who will be working on your account and how much experience “each one” has in social media. Also, make sure to ask what companies they have developed and implemented social media strategies for. You will likely have some junior people in the mix, but you should have at least one who has been in the space long enough to know their elbow from their “rhymes with smash hole.”
Social media is special. Your current marketing strategies won’t work, that’s why you need us.
Social media is another tool in your marketing tool kit. It isn’t any more special that email marketing or paid search advertising. Each one of these requires and understanding of what you want to accomplish and a clear understanding of how it can help you reach your business objectives. Social media isn’t any different. In many cases, social media will compliment your current marketing strategies with a little twist.
Social media is the only marketing strategy you need.
Social media is not a silver bullet. It will not fix problems within your current marketing strategy and quite frankly it is more likely shine a big red light on them. It is also not the “only” marketing strategy a company should use. Good marketing is a combination of smart strategy and well-thought out tactics that are executed within marketing channels where their prospects and customers play. Putting all of your eggs in the social media basket is extremely risky.
If you don’t know a lot about social media and need some help, that’s okay. But make sure you prepare yourself so you hire a solid provider who can contribute to your goals. There are some really solid providers out there if you look hard enough. The best tip I can give you is to ask for specific examples and references. Then actually check them. Otherwise, there are plenty of people who have some great ocean front property in Arizona they’d like to sell you.
Postscript: Had a fabulous dinner last night at the home of Todd and Dutchie Reid. Todd's blog is FatherFeedsFlock, and you can get some great recipe ideas and how-to's from him at:http://fatherfeedsflock.blogspot.com. Last night's dinner is detailed at http://fatherfeedsflock.blogspot.com/2011/06/dinner-party-with-scott-gab-thai-tuna.html?spref=fb