In the past few days, I’ve heard a number of executives say, be wary of getting on social media. It’s just a place for people to complain about products and services. Social media only works for young people and those type of people are not our clients. We need to make sure we protect the company name and don’t get caught up in social media hype.
For the most part, these same executives are not active on social media and see it as a big waste of time. For these people, social media is a waste of time. In addition, some executives may have been burned in the past because they let a young graduate post information on behalf of the company. In addition, some companies let all employees post on behalf of the company. This type of process also has a lot of risks associated with it.
The underlying theme here is:
“A company must define how it is going to use social media and define what type of outcomes it hopes to achieve” If you do not know where to start with respect to this last statement, ask someone who has achieved success using social media and it will save you a lot of time. Don’t try to read social books and find ways to define how you should use social media. Believe me, you will find better results talking to someone who has worked with social media for a few years.
Finally, social media works best when company executives are the spokespeople for the organization. These people should be the voice of your company. Maybe it’s your senior marketing director or client service manager, vice president or development director. All of these people represent what your company stands for on a regular basis and have hopefully spent time learning the ins and outs of the company. In addition, these people work directly with clients and understand more about their needs.
If you are an executive and you don’t see the need for social media, you really should take it upon yourself to learn a little more about it. I follow many executives on social media sites and have learned so much through those associations. In addition, I have directly and indirectly found business through those associations. This process takes time, but to ignore it is really foolish from my standpoint. Executives need to take a bigger step and own the process and learn how it can help them both personally and professionally. It is worth the investment.
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