Social media is a communications outlet that cannot be overlooked. While current clients can be reached today via print, TV and through more traditional methods; future clients, individuals that were born after 2000, can be best reached via a social media platform.
If you are not engaged in the Social Media, following are some tips on how to get started —
Identify your strategy. A strategy I have used before is as follows – “Build a relationship between your company and your consumers. Reinforce your brand and your positioning. Engage consumers or potential consumers to gain feedback on your products or services, i.e., positive testimonials, and willingness to recommend statements.”
Set-up a company page on a couple of social networks that reach your target customer. Invite current/past users and potential customers to join your community. Interact with the community on-line through product development suggestions, beta testing, targeted marketing campaigns. Be true to your brand. If your clients expect traditional content, now is not the time to become satirical.
Actively Market. Respond to clients/customers. It is terrible when a client makes an effort and comments, and their efforts do not receive any feedback. If there is no response, they will never comment again, and may develop a negative impression of you.
Continue to post fresh material. Successful usage of social media requires an effort. It is not an afterthought.
Differentiate messaging across social media sites. For example, you may wish to discuss seasonal promotions, special events or discounts on Twitter; but product information on Facebook.
However, in my experience, there are two primary reasons why some companies may wish to shy away from this communication medium –
Negative Comments – If you provide individuals an opportunity to interact with your company via social media, be prepared to read bad comments; as well as good comments. Keep in mind that messaging on the internet is “forever” at the current time. These negative comments will never go away. But, in my opinion, any information that helps you understand what your clients are thinking adds value. Just be prepared.
Legal Significance – Often times, social media is discussed as just a different type of advertising, similar to print and TV spots. There does seem to be one very big difference. Any company communication, prior to the use of print or TV, is vetted through legal departments to ensure there are no statements that could be considered by reasonable people as misleading. It may not make much sense economically to constantly run 170+ words by your legal department.
But regardless of the two caveats discussed, I believe the benefits of engaging in social media outweigh the risks. Just be thoughtful and true to your brand and strategy.
© Copyright 2012 Regis Quirin, All rights Reserved. Written For: CFO Tips - What you need to know, to be a CFO TODAY!