Rule #1 of Social Media: If you want spaghetti, buy spaghetti…not PB&J.
I hear the same question a lot, why should I participate in social media? It is a good
question. Anytime you are about to venture into an area that is new to you, you should
stop and ask yourself why? You should never enter into any arena without knowing why
you are there, what purpose it serves or what you want to get out of the cost to be there.
According to the folks at TopRank Online Marketing there are 19 questions to ask
yourself before you determine your organization is ready for social media.
Think of it this way, what happens when you go into a grocery store without preparing a
list? You buy a bunch of stuff you don’t need and forget to buy the one thing you went
there for in the first place. In the end you get home feeling two things guilty and
frustrated. Guilty that you spent money buying things you either already have or really
don’t need and frustrated that the one thing you drove all the way there for never even
made it into your cart.
Social media is the same way. If you don’t have a road map for participating as a
company you are likely to wander the aisles of Face book, Twitter, or Linkedin spending
time in areas that don’t make sense for your company. Putting friends, contacts and
followers in your cart only to find out when you get up to the register that they are not
what you came in for. No one has time to waste, that’s a given. So make a plan, set your
goals, track your results and adjust your course accordingly.
If you wanted to make spaghetti for dinner you wouldn’t buy a loaf of bread, a jar of
peanut butter and some grape jelly, would you? If you want to reach your customer base
you wouldn’t create a page on Facebook if they are all engaging on Twitter or interacting
on LinkedIn. You go where your audience is. Allow me to state the obvious again no one
has time to waste. Don’t expect people to add more destinations to their list of online
interactions. Figure out where they are and go to them. Make a plan, have a goal and your
spaghetti will turn out like spaghetti not a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
What’s your social media shopping list look like? How are you taking steps to go where
your audience already is?