It is absolutely true that social media has become a crucial tool in customer-company relations. However, if done wrong in the corporate world, a social media melt down will occur. So when your boss tells you it is time to jump on the social media bandwagon, there are a few things you as the PR professional should consider before opening up a social channel between your corporation and its audience.
Jessica Sharp of Maven Communications, LLC. lists 3 crucial mistakes to avoid as your company becomes active in social media, inspired by journalist Shara Tibken.
No. 1: Failing to have a plan before rolling out the campaign- Too many companies jump on the social media bandwagon without first having a clear plan of action or strategy. Doing it because everyone else is doing it is not a good enough reason. A social media strategy should be just as well thought out as a marketing strategy - and in fact, they should tie into one another. Clearly defined objectives, tactics for achieving them and measurement methods should all be determined before creating a social media presence.
No. 2: Not understanding what social media is - and is not - good for- Social media is a great way to connect and engage with target audiences. But it’s not a total replacement for tried and true relationship building methods. Social Media is a wonderful new way to show another side of a company’s personality, but it cannot successfully be the only way that a company communicates with target audiences.
No. 3: Thinking social media is cheap or (free)- Social media is not free, or even cheap, it’s just a different kind of expensive. Just like most things in life, you get out of it what you put in. So to really make a social media campaign work, it takes time, a lot of it. And as we all know - time is money.
Simply put, when your company plans to “get with it” in terms of social media think of these three objectives. Is social media relevant to your corporation? Do you understand the positives and negatives that can arise from your use of social media channels? Do you have the ability to successfully maintain social media? If you plan your approach to social media, your company can benefit greatly from the interaction and feedback from your target audience and/or customers.
This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Emily Storz.