As 2014 approached, I saw and heard more and more people say they were tired of spending time on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. No one was saying that a presence on these sites was less important. The fact is all of us only have so much time.
I believe the focus needs to be more on distribution and communication. I don’t like the word engagement. I believe you have to be in the game and have your company name out there for people to communicate with you. In addition, I think companies need to move away from just broadcasting and find more efficient ways to communicate and connect with current clients and potential clients.
Here is how I see companies dealing with this current situation.
Social Media Team – Some companies are getting everyone on board and giving them access to company social media profiles. These companies have determined that a team approach is better than one person trying to work with social media. The advantage of this approach is that companies can maintain a strong presence online because many people are involved. The disadvantages I see with this method is that your company message may come across differently depending on who is talking at the time. It takes a team of 5 – 10 people to be successful. It could be putting too many eggs in one basket. Strong training and rules need to be in place, and people need to communicate with their personal and corporate profiles.
Assign A Single Voice – For small companies this works great, especially if this person is an executive like the CEO or a Vice-President. Ask Scott Monty – Ford if you can see results. One downside to this approach is that lots of time is required and it can be a bit consuming. Make sure person in charge is trusting and dependable or else you could be in a lot of trouble.
Shared Responsibility – (My method of choice for 2014) Marketing is more about communication and distribution and less about which social media platform you are working with. Everyone in your company needs to be a part of your company’s marketing initiatives. Here are some ways to share this responsibility.
- Send sales staff, managers and executives to trade shows
- Give your client service staff more responsibility with respect to setting up accounts and resolving client issues
- Give your production people updates as to the company direction and how the company is doing. (Celebrate Victories)
- Assign a few people (1-3) the ability to send information over social media platforms. Make sure one of these people is an executive or owner of the company
- Make sure IT people are involved with continual website improvements and organizing client data for future marketing initiatives
- Make sure you have a front-desk person who welcomes people as they enter your company.
- Talk to your vendors and strengthen those ties
- Collect input from your current clients and make sure you are exceeding their needs.
- Find the best content writers in your company and use their skills to write content for the company’s blog site
This is no easy task, but I feel small businesses are still trying to find their place with social media and they are missing out on something much bigger and better. It is time to quit focusing on social media as the (end-all be-all things to marketing)and take a step back and recognize where it fits into the mix. The bigger picture has a much better return.
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