I am a fan of social media and as a marketer believe that it has opened up many new and interesting opportunities to connect with customers.
The speed of change within the space does provide its challenges, however, as a component of the Marketing Mix, I believe Social Media is here to stay.
The irony about Social Media is that it comes with many unfounded myths such as; it’s free, easy to use, can build (launch) a brand overnight and those who don’t get involved with it are ‘crazy’. Whilst some of these suggestions are true, my overall recommendation with social media is to crawl before you walk.
Here are two examples why –
- Your name in Google –
The advocates of social media encourage their followers to be as active as possible in the space, which will inevitably mean that your name or business name will be highly found or searched in Google. Whilst this is very advantageous, what happens if you inadvertently break many of the Social Media ‘unwritten rules’ and end up being tarnished online. The good, bad and ugly appears in Google searches and if you want something removed (from Google that is) how are you going to organise that?
- It’s not free –
There is a notion that Social Media is free. Whilst this is true in the sense that there is no cost to set up a Twitter account, there is a very large cost associated with learning how to use the platform, creating interesting and relevant content and developing your brand identity through background images and the like.
Whilst those in ‘start up mode’ may have more time than customers, savvy business owners will accurately understand what their opportunity cost is for spending time experimenting with social media.
At the end of the day, Social Media is just one aspect of the marketing mix. It works best when there is a considered process and strategy behind its executions.