Social Media “Popular Wisdom”: Does It Pass Your Gut Test?

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Like This!Social media is absolutely dominating the marketing conversation.  When done right, it can turbocharge a marketing plan, but some of what passes for popular wisdom doesn’t pass the gut test.

Every company wants a Facebook page, but this platform may not fit every business.  Ditto, Twitter, You Tube, blogging, and all the rest.  Develop the right strategy FOR YOU, and before following the “popular wisdom”, make sure it passes your gut.

Social Media:  the “Big Picture”

Let’s keep it in perspective:  planning for social media is only one part of developing an overall marketing plan for a business, not a stand-alone decision. It does not replace the other forms of marketing that also help “convince and convert” a target market.  Start with a comprehensive marketing plan, and then determine what role Social Media will play.

A Facebook Page for Every Business?

Should your business be on Facebook?  The answer is, “it depends”.  Ask whether this platform is the best way to engage your target, in light of your business goals.

I know of a B to B specialty chemical company with a new Facebook page, because the owner thought they needed to have one.  If Facebook turns out to be a good place to reach this very unique target, fine.  But there may be a better social networking strategy to help this company achieve its goals.

I also spoke recently with the owner of a B to B market research company who told me “everyone is saying he should be on Facebook”, and yet it doesn’t sit right with him.  Gut alert!  Social media is not one size fits all.  Don’t assume Facebook is right simply because everyone else is there. Use it because it is the best place to reach your target and create the relationships that will lead your target audience to take a desired action.

(Postscript:  The market research company found a better best place to promote awareness of their webinars and other services (Twitter/Linked in).  And the chemical company still needs to rethink their strategy or get better advice, IMHO!)

To Tweet, or Not to Tweet?

Twitter is a great place to reach out to brand influencers, and improve customer experience.  But be forewarned that social media doesn’t come with a pause button, and it’s not really a good idea to start and stop.

Instead of spreading yourself too thin, pick the best place to interact with your target and commit to that. Is your audience on Twitter, and do you have the resources to commit to this if it is a second medium?  Who do you want to engage with?

Huge numbers of followers may be right for some, but not all.  For me, quality means more than quantity, relationships count most of all.  Decide what makes sense for your firm.

Start a blog?

To blog or not to blog?  Blogs are a great way to share content to establish your expertise and help people get to know you, but there are many ways to share information. Do you like to write? Then blogging is a great choice. Or would you prefer a format like a vlog, using video as a means to share content?

The only thing worse than no blog is one that has been abandoned … so make sure it fits your goals and resources before you start!

Linked in:  Be clear about your goals!

Some people may have good reasons to employ a mass strategy on Linked in (LIONs), and you may be one of them.  I use Linked in to nurture relationships I already have, and approach business development more selectively.  Think about your goals, and your strategy will fall into place.

(Postscript:  Linked in expert Marc Halpert weighed in on this, and advises linking to people you know).

The larger point? Don’t follow the herd;  question which social media strategy and social networking interactions make sense for YOU, and if your gut raises questions, pay attention!

What popular wisdom fails to pass YOUR social media gut test?

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About Rhonda Hurwitz

Rhonda Hurwitz is a content strategist and marketing consultant who helps mid-sized businesses develop more effective online strategies. @rhondahurwitz on Twitter, and on Forbes.com: http://blogs.forbes.com/people/rhondahurwitz/
This entry was posted in Social Media Best Practices, social media strategy and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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