We have many clients embracing social media and also trying to wade through the deluge of expert and industry advice, mainly by people piggybacking the topic and using social media to raise their own profile. Social media is effective, but the honest fact is, it’s new and a lot of poor quality advice and implementation is going on right now.
A key mistake is to see social media as a quick-win route that’s easy to use at low cost. Like any marketing activity worth its salt, you have to think it and follow it through well. We start by thinking about how you want to use social media, what do you want your audience to do (as a group and individually). So some basic questions and options might be:
- If you want to give your customers an open platform to talk about you, share their views about you and allow you to part of that dialogue then facebook is a good choice, but you have to manage the risks of giving that level of control to your customers over your brand.
- If you want to build a focused group of professionals that support each other and network, then LinkedIn is the best choice.
- If you want to share information to position yourself then choices like LinkedIn, SlideShare and YouTube are good but you need to drive users to an action or your own hub, which could be your blog on your website which is under your control.
As you see, the choice has to be right, and when you mix this with a good editoral content programme integrated with your marketing strategy then you can really get social media working well for you and directly driving sales as well.