Jumping on the social media bandwagon could be a disaster if your business isn’t prepared for it.
Unlike other media, social media requires a business to stay committed (see “Business: Don’t Use Social Media If You’re Not Ready“)
The post also included additional questions that we found useful in helping businesses decide if they are ready for social media.
Several Penn Olson readers requested us to elaborate on the questions listed. And yes, we’re certainly more than willing to do so. Here you go!
1. What are your business goals?
Having a clear set of business goals is of utmost importance. Are you using social media for maintaining customer relations, building awareness or selling? These goals would determine your execution and performance indicators.
Often, it is not a great idea to focus solely on selling. It makes the business self-centric and I am pretty sure your audience wouldn’t like that.
2. What is your budget?
Signing up on Twitter and Facebook is free, but the time spent on maintaining profiles can be a huge investment. The amount of resources you have would determine the tools to use and the scale of your social media project.
Time is money concept with dollars and clock
3. Which social tools are you using and why?
A regularly updated blog would generally take up more resources compared to Twitter or Facebook. Also, think about why these tools are chosen. Linking back to goals: Twitter is generally better for customer relations and Facebook is better for discussion. Only pick these tools if you have good reasons to do so.
4. Who are your target audiences?
Identify your target audience before execution; otherwise you’re just burning your resources. Facebook is huge but it might not be the right tool for you. A quick check on Facebook’s ad data would help you decide if your target customers are on it. For Twitter, this Twitter demographic statistic will help you a long way.
5. How competent is your social media executive?
If you were to hire a social media executive, make sure he is not only proficient in using these social tools but understands your company from head to toe. Should there be any queries, it is not feasible to constantly redirect customers to another person. Likewise, if a disaster were to occur, does he have the knowledge and power to respond swiftly?
6. What sort of message tone are you setting?
Your conversation style and tone should be aligned to your overall brand image. Check out @Starbucks: Its overall message communicated is almost an identical match to its brand image.
7. Are you able to measure ROI?
If you’re unable to measure your performance, you probably can’t manage it. Start early and fine tune the process along the way to make measurement more relevant.