The Challenges of Social Media
Many companies, both large and small continue to struggle with Social Media and end up disappointed with the time, money and results they get from Social Media.
Why is it so difficult? Mainly because Social Media illustrates how the conventional wisdom of customer communications and brand engagement no longer applies. Here are some of the factors:
1. “You Give up Control”
There’s no viable regulation of the media, so the content doesn’t have to be true. The impact of Social Media cannot be stopped or undone, even in court.
2. “It’s Everywhere”
Social Media transcends traditional geographic, demographic, and economic boundaries. Social Media content is amplified via the “viral effect” – not always to the companies benefit.
3. “It’s Emotional, as Well as Functional”
User-generated content often is triggered by an emotional reaction. Social Media is forcing companies to make decisions much more quickly and with less precise information.
Each of these factors requires an organization to be extremely agile simply to keep pace. Unfortunately, such agility is not commonplace in most organizations, which is what makes dealing with Social Media such a challenge.
However, even with all the challenges, Social Media can represent new opportunities for growth and strengthening of your customer relationships.
So how can a business rise to the challenge? Consider these tips:
1. Define a Social Media Strategy
Avoid wasted time, effort and missed opportunities by defining what you are looking for in Social Media – more sales, creating “buzz”, improving customer service, creating leads or turning customers into “Brand Evangelists”. By defining your goals, you can use this to define the best practice and steps to reaching you goal. It also makes it easier to see when you are going off in the wrong direction.
2. Listen, Ask Questions, Reply and Engage
It is sometimes surprising how few companies are unwilling to actually engage with their followers and potential customers. Statistics are showing that as many as 30% of customer complaints and posts on Social Media are not being responded to. One of the greatest opportunities of Social Media is the ability to find out what your customers are thinking and what they are looking for in product or service. Don’t let the fear of hearing something you don’t want cause you to back away from this opportunity.
3. Make it Worth Their While
Why should anyone follow you or your business on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn? If you constantly post/tweet the same information or the latest sale or Press Release, following you can become tedious and quite frankly boring. Provide customers with insights into your industry, sneak peeks, discounts, support and a even a good laugh.
If you haven’t risen to the challenge of Social Media or have been disappointed in your results so far, maybe it’s time to revisit and challenge yourself to make the most of your Social Media efforts.