I’ve been getting a lot of calls lately from people responding to the buzz about social media. In the last week I have been asked:
I am on Twitter now what do I post about?
I have a LinkedIn profile what should I put on there?
What is business Facebook?
I am getting the sense that lots of people are jumping on the social media band wagon because its the hot thing to do right now especially given the economic environment.
Don’t get me wrong, its great that social media is becoming mainstream but I am concerned that rather than taking a step back and considering what their goals are from using these tools, who they are trying to reach and what resources they can commit to doing so, people are blindly setting up profiles all over the place without really understanding how to use these profiles to benefit their business at a strategic level. They risk wasting time and effort not to mention putting their credibility on the line.
There are hundreds of social networks, millions of blogs and even more users worldwide. What you post stays there forever. These technologies are not toys, they are tools and like any other tools you need to understand what you want to do with them and what you are trying to achieve.
What people should be asking is: “what is our social media strategy?”. Take a step back, think about your corporate goals and who you are trying to reach. Do some competitive intelligence to see how others in your industry are using these tools. Think about where online you are most likely to find your target audience and then consider your internal resources. Sounds familiar? It should if you have ever put together a marketing plan.