One of the dangers of social media is its trendiness. This causes many companies to jump on the bandwagon without knowing why they doing it and, as important, where the bandwagon is going. Unfortunately, many companies discover the ride to be disorienting, bumpy and unsatisfying.
A good way to avoid this kind of experience is embracing a “look before you leap” approach to social media. It means taking the time to get a strong handle on why you want to use social media. This process could involve issues such as:
- The competitive landscape: If rivals are using social media to reach out to existing and potential customers (including your customers) as part of their marketing and communications arsenals, then it may make sense to consider using social media as well.
- Branding building: Social media is just another communications and marketing tool that can be used to establish and grow your corporate brand, particularly in for companies that deal directly with customers on a daily basis.
- Customer service: Perhaps the “killer app” of social media, customer service can be a great reason to climb on the bandwagon. The ability to respond to customer issues and feedback in real-time can be invaluable.
- Higher sales: Often overlooked or stuck down on the list of reasons to do social media, higher sales is an important factor when assessing whether an investment in social media makes sense. For anyone looking for case studies on social media being used to generate more sales, Dell and Naked Pizza are perfect examples.
By conducting a thorough exploration of why do social media and the strategic objectives, companies can get a much better strategic and tactical idea of what needs to be done to establish a foothold before they climb on the bandwagon.