Embrace Social Media – But Make a Plan!

The excitement about social media for business is at its peak – which leads companies to jump right in “because everyone else is.” Many companies feel that if they are not a part of social media already, they need to rush and get in on it as soon as possible. Even though there should be some sense of urgency, you should make your endeavor worthwhile and make a plan.

First, evaluate where your customers are and how they are using it. Many people are fans of a company on facebook because the company offers deals and information only available to fans. In other words, they have something of value to offer. Don’t just create a fan page just to make one, think about how it can be appealing to your customers.

Then, create a plan for where you’re going to be, who is responsible for maintaining it, and a crisis management policy. You can and should be discriminating about which social media channels where you to maintain a presence. It takes time, so it makes sense to choose fewer channels that you can maintain well rather than try to be everywhere at once. Assign responsibilities for planning content, updating content and checking every day to respond to customer feedback. Choose your representatives wisely – social media involves conversation between companies and customers directly. Make sure you represent  yourself well.

Companies are excited because social media is “free.” While there may be no paid media cost, it does have a huge cost in terms of planning and maintenance time – so don’t waste valuable resources by jumping in without a plan.