Social media is everywhere and for a lot of businesses they approach it likes it’s the magic wand that’s going to be the savior to their business. When you begin to talk to them, usually the conversation starts like this. “Can you help us with that Twitter thing and that Facebook thing, not to mention it’s vital if you can produce for us one of those viral videos. Second, this has to help our business look hip and cool and last but not least, we don’t have the time to really be involved in any conversations.”
The other component that comes out in this conversation isn’t just what they want, but also what they don’t want. I’m still amazed when I hear the fear factor about the potential of negative comments being made about their brand or products. Which I wonder, if it’s really fear about negativity or it’s fear of being in a conversational space and having to deal with negative feedback.
These conversations have led to think not just what social media is, but what social media isn’t. Perhaps if social media was presented first by what it’s not, just maybe companies would truly consider what they want out of their activity in the social space versus just jumping on the band wagon because it’s what everyone is buzzing about and it’s the new shiny thing.
Here’s are my thoughts on what social media isn’t.
It’s not a short term fix. To really benefit from social media it has to be a long term commitment. It’s more than just a three month campaign. It takes time to first listen to what’s being said about your business and brand. It takes time to build trust with your customers as you publicly practice your willingness to listen and converse back. It’s more of a process than it is a press release or a campaign.
It won’t fix a poor business plan. Business basics are still business basics. It you don’t have a strong business plan adding social media to your plate isn’t going to solve the issues if this foundational piece of your business isn’t solid.
It won’t hide a poor product. If you really want to know what people think about your product you’ll find out as you begin to listen to what you customers are saying. However, if your product isn’t good, social media isn’t going to fix that. It doesn’t matter how many blog posts, Twitter posts or videos on YouTube you produce. If your product isn’t solid, social media isn’t going to bring you the results that you’re looking for.
It’s not the answer for poor customer service. Experts say that businesses spends six times more to attract new business than it does to keep their current customers. If you don’t have a strong customer service plan and practice in place, social media won’t fix that. You must have specific plans in place to engage your customers, listen to their requests, answer their questions and help facilitate a positive experience. Don’t forget most people buy products that they have been referred to more than what has been advertised.
It all goes back to the basics, but I’m always intrigued by businesses that haven’t mastered the basics and think social media will be their night in shining armor. Quick fact: It’s not going to happen.
What are your thoughts? If you’ve read this blog for sometime, I’m sure you know what social media is, but what would you add to this list of what it’s not?
Leave a comment and add to my list.
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