[some social media task], you will achieve Y [specific number of Facebook fans, % increase in sales, etc.] is blowing smoke in your direction. Did you calculate the ROI of the telephone or the company car before you invested in them? Did you know up front how to connect those investments to the bottom line? Of course not, but you knew they were important to the business and you have continually evaluated your use of them to maximize their value. Understanding exactly what
you want to measure and how
to measure it takes time. Don’t expect to have this completely nailed down before you even begin.
3. Meet Your New Chief of Social Media: The Neighbor’s Kid
The kid spends all day on Facebook anyway, so it makes sense to let him handle all of the social media for your business, right? Plus, you don’t need to pay him. He’s happy to put in a couple of hours a week just to have access to your swimming pool in the summer. If this is the direction you’re heading, or a similar plan to assign the task to a student who will work for peanuts <ahem, intern>, I encourage you to do some research and consider finding someone who is qualified to guide your efforts. Spoiler alert: Being able to tweet or post photos to Facebook from a smartphone doesn’t count as a qualification.
4. Set Up Your Social Accounts, Watch the Money Roll In
You’ve heard the stories; a bookstore (or was it a coffee shop, no wait, it was a computer company, or was it a magazine, it’s so hard to remember) set up a Facebook Page and six weeks later had 2.5 million Facebook fans and increased sales by 420%.
Stories are just that – stories, not reality. Here’s the truth about social media: It’s not magic; it takes work. It is not a “set it and forget it” proposition. Like most things in life, success comes with focus, competence, passion, a unique vision and, yes, work. In fact, simply setting up pages and then letting them go stale without any activity can do more harm to your brand than had you never set them up in the first place.
5. Your Business Sucks
Incorporating social media tools into an overall business strategy definitely offers important opportunities which wouldn’t have been possible any other way. That said, investing in social media will not save you if your product or service, uhm, sucks. If your customers or your employees aren’t happy, adopting social media will not save your sinking ship. Social media provides a larger platform to be who we are and amplifies the voices of those talking about you. If whatever you’re selling doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to, it might be best to focus your efforts on fixing that problem first and tackle social media once the business sucks a little less.
If these signs describe your view of social media, take heart, you aren’t the only one. Too many are under the impression that going online is a sure-fire way to boost business with little to no effort. If you take the time to really understand the benefits, risks and best practices (or partner with someone else who understands this), you could well be on your way to building the kind of online presence that suits your business best. It won’t happen overnight, but it can happen.
If you enjoyed this post, sign up to receive free updates by email here so you don’t miss any future Almost Savvy social media updates and news.
Image courtesy of upyernoz