Many would say it is obvious a resounding YES! Your business should be on social media. But I will sneak in a NO in there. Before you run to Facebook and open a page and a Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and 300 other social media accounts. I have a few questions for you to answer.

  1. What is your intention? This isn’t High School where you are completely unable to beat the peer pressure. Just because your competitor has social media sites, doesn’t mean you need one at the moment. You need to walk in with an intention.
  1. What is the best medium for your brand and target audience? As mentioned in previous posts. You need to be rock solid sure who your target audience is and their social media consumption behaviour. When you know that, you are better placed to be on the same sites they interact with and are most comfortable.
  1. Are you ready for the long haul? Social media as the name suggests is social. This is a relationship you are building. You need to constantly engage with your audience. And not always sell them something. You need to start treating your business social media account like a personal account. Share other things in life other than the annoying bargains and products you have. If you have a friend who always sells you stuff you are probably reconsidering your friendship right now. In short, befriend your target audience, let them get to know you and trust you and then they are more likely to buy from you. This, my friends, is why outsourcing your social media is a big mistake.
  1. Do you have someone in house specifically managing your social media accounts? The only person who knows the company dynamic and can share it on social media regularly isn’t the agency you contracted. It is your staff. Your staff personify your brand, let them bring it to life on your social media accounts as they befriend your target audience and build a community. This takes time. Your company DNA needs to ooze through the social media space, only your staff can offer that.
  1. Do you understand the social media influencers are expensive in the long run? Fine you want a millennial who loves attention and has many friends on social media sites to push your product. You can do that. But what you end up promoting their brand more than yours. Your brand plays second fiddle to the influencer. Because when you stop paying them, they are off to the next brand to push it. It doesn’t build your brand’s community, it is like Vanilla Ice; it’s a one hit wonder; no community and no one cares about your product after that.
  1. Do you know social media updates aren’t one offs? You take on social media as a tool to grow your brand; you need to put in the hours. Hence question 4. You need to post regularly. Quality over quantity. You don’t have to be online every second of everyday. Schedule regular posts on your social media accounts, even if it is just one post a day, also take the time even if it is 1 – 2 hours a day to interact with your followers. 

Before you yell out to the world you are on social media with your fancy new account, you need to answer these questions. Your answers will help guide the direction your organization needs to take, All brands aim to be top of mind, because when you are, loyalty and trust is steadily built with your customers. Social media may seem very flimsy, but if you get it right from the get go you will gain the traction you need.