Who Needs Social Media?

twittersphereOne of the things I love about my job is that every day is different.  But sometimes I have Groundhog Day moments when I find myself responding to the same comments for the umpteenth time.  And nine times out of ten that comment can be paraphrased as ‘social media’s not relevant to my business.’ Whatever type of business you operate, I can guarantee you that it is. Certainly, not all social media platforms are relevant to all businesses but all businesses can benefit from social media if  - and it’s a big if – they approach it in the right way.

One of the biggest obstacles to companies maximising the value of social media is the lack of strategy that they put into using it.  While most businesses understand the importance of having a business strategy and a marketing strategy, when it comes to social media they often seem to think that just having a presence on social media is sufficient.

It isn’t.

Without a clear social media strategy, there is no way of targeting your activity to communicate effectively with your core audiences, or achieving your goals.  There is also no means of measuring your activity so that you can develop your social media presence in line with your objectives and changing perceptions.  And of course, without strategy, any activity is ad hoc and un-coordinated, which is the very antithesis of a successful social media campaign which requires an integrated approach to delivering, disseminating and driving online content.

The good news is that there is no rocket science here. Developing a strategy starts with three basic questions:

-       Where is the company now?

-       Where does it want to be?

-       How can it get there?

Social media can help you answer the first question with stakeholder engagement. The second question is a matter of business strategy and the third involves understanding who you want to talk to, which platforms offer the best opportunity for engagement with those audiences, what content will interest them and when they will be most receptive to receiving it.

Still unconvinced?  Then consider this: there are 10 million active Twitter users in the UK and any online content will boost your SEO and encourage content sharing and website traffic. Your future customers will be looking for a company like yours online, by using social media strategically, you are simply increasing your chances of them finding you first.