Personally, I think the words, “social media” cover the topic too broadly. Social Media Platforms have their difference and the in the end, the focus should not be whether social media is right for your company, but rather, which social media platform would be a great fit for our company.
Remember Southwest Airlines, – They still haven’t used Google+ as a platform, but they post information daily on Facebook and Twitter as part of their customer serive.
Apple has a Facebook Account, but does not post information on it, instead it lets its customers post their comments on their site. Also, Apple does not use Google+. However, Phillip Schiller – Senior Vice President of World-Wide Marketing at Apple has a twitter account Pschiller and posts tweets about once a week.
Now, these companies have very strong brand awareness and have systems in place regarding the way they market their brand and product/service offerings.
If you think of social media platforms as channels, it will really help you in your planning and execution of your marketing strategies. If you only compare yourself to Southwest Airlines and Apple, you might be missing the boat.
The other word of caution I would say about this topic is that it takes people and notably an audience of followers to see value in these platforms. Just signing up and having an account is not enough. This process takes time. When people tell me that I tried it for a month and did not see the value, I tell them that it takes a minimum of 6 months to a year and even at that rate, you may only see some results.
Finally, it really comes back to blogging. Every presentation I heard yesterday indicated that companies need to get closer to their clients and be more transparent. Also, you need to give people a reason to come to your site. Where do you want people to go with the final conversation? Do you leave them on Twitter or Facebook or do you have a call-to-action which takes them to your website, a phone call, email or face-to-face visit.
With respect to blogging, each speaker indicated that people do not know how to blog correctly. They all agree that someone has to own the process and post information on a regular basis each week. It is a lot of work. For this reason, people do not do it.
Here is a secret to working with social media. Blogging when combined with different social media platforms creates a great provides a powerful communication vehicle which helps get your message out to masses and points them to the source of your content.
Is social media right for your company? You and your company cohorts control this answer. For now, I will just say, “It depends”