Joining Social MediaIf your business is thinking about joining social media, it might be an intimidating experience for you. Establishing a social media presence is not as simple as creating an account and hoping for the best. There are a few things you need to consider when deciding whether or not your business should join the world of social media.
Lack of ControlOne of the first challenges that businesses can face on social media is the lack of control. Sure, you can make plans and build and excellent strategy, but the social media universe has a mind of its own. As a business, you are constantly under a microscope and any mistake your business makes on social media will get noticed. Misspell something—someone will point it out. Make a controversial comment— someone will be offended. Think you deleted it? Someone already took a screen shot and uploaded it onto twenty blogs. Some companies may unintentionally cross the line or post something uncouth. Once realized, the company may attempt to delete the post or comment, but more often than not, it’s still out there somewhere on the Internet. It can be scary to take on this type of responsibility, but if you stay mindful of your presence, current events, and grammar, you can avoid a lot of embarrassment.
Who Will Manage It?You’ve successfully joined social media, but who is going to take the time to manage it? This can be another challenge that arises if your business chooses to join social media. It’s not enough to just create an account. You have to maintain a presence across multiple social media platforms, which can be off-putting to executives and managers who don’t have the time to manage the business’s accounts themselves. Only 12 percent of businesses have at least one employee dedicated to social media, and only 28 percent have a social media strategy in place. While it’s great to have a strategy, that strategy will be worthless if no one is there to implement it. Often times, companies hesitate to hire someone full time to manage their social media accounts because they feel that it’s too costly. Hiring a social media manager might cost a company roughly $45,000 a year. This may be an intimidating number to some, but outsourcing could cost even more. When you add in the account set up, content creation, and interactions, you could be looking at $4,000 per month, and that’s not even including a strategy! Outsourcing may seem like a good idea, but hiring in-house will always prove to be a better option. You not only end up paying less, but you have someone immersed into your company’s culture and mission. Your company will be their number one priority, and they will go above and beyond for your social media efforts. These cons of joining a social media network may have confirmed any uncertainties you may have had, but there are also cons to staying off of these networks.
Staying off of Social mediaWhile joining social media can be challenging, refusing to join can be equally risky. If your company is not on social media, you could be doing more damage to your business.
No Brand AwarenessLimiting your company to only offline channels can limit your brand awareness. Staying offline closes your business off to an entire market of consumers. Social media is an easy and FREE way to build brand awareness for your business. You can brand each channel to your company, and provide relevant content and information to your followers. Having your company on social media also increases your search engine optimization (SEO) and your chances of populating on the first page of Google’s search results. Because these sites have more clout with Google, they are more likely to appear at the top.
No Way To Connect With CustomersStaying off social media also limits your ability to connect directly to your customers. With 42 percent of customers complaining on social media, it has become the number one place for businesses to provide customer service. It’s not just a great place to combat issues and resolve problems. It’s also an opportunity to really listen to what your customers are saying. Without social media, companies hide behind their advertisements and PR firms, which could hinder any relationships you hope to build with your customers. Social media removes these barriers and gives you a forum to have a conversation with consumers. Many businesses use their Twitter account specifically to connect with customers and resolve any problems. Instead of having to call a customer service number, customers can simply tweet at the company about any issues they may be having. This makes the customer feel heard, and also generates quicker response times.
ConclusionOf course, there are always pros and cons for businesses choosing to take their brand on or off social media, but in order to compete in today’s competitive market and build brand awareness, businesses should take the plunge, and bring their presence online. If you’ve decided to join the social networking world, the next thing you will need to decide is what social media channels your business should be on. Looking to establish a social media presence online? CATMEDIA creates social media campaigns and provides social media management services that generate name recognition and cultivate relationships with consumers.