Social media has become the main platform that companies, organizations, and brands are capitalizing on to engage their respective audience. Whether the purpose is commercial, social, or promotional, social media is emerging as a primary tool for success in such a difficult/competitive business environment.
Furthermore, the rise of Social Media, coupled with high consumption by users, where the average monthly hours spent engaging through social media reached a staggering 10.7 hours in Argentina and 7.6 hours in the United States (statisticbrain.com), rushed corporations and organizations to join the carnival, each trying to claim their supremacy in engaging their audience and flexing their social media muscles through the “most likes” and”best followers”.
Apparently, observing the social media landscape, it seems that grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Forbes newspaper reported “American small business owners are turning up on the social web in droves. The trouble is, no matter how much time they spend, they’re simply not seeing a return on investment.”. On the other hand, businesses are finding it hard to create their voice in social media sphere, which in most cases is leading into adopting a futile “tell” strategy versus a thought-after “engaging” strategy.
I am not suggesting secluding social media from the communications mix nor underestimating what a proper digital approach could do for the well-being of organizations. What I am actually advocating for is for organizations to take a pause and to do their due diligence before taking the digital leap, through making sure that the below points are taken into consideration:
- Brand’s DNA: It makes it easier when you are aware of your organization’s Mission, Vision , Values and Purpose
- Audience: Who are your audience, what are their social media habits and where are they mingling
- Social Media Landscape: What are the different platforms, their unique functions, and users’ demographics
- Organization Readiness level: To which extent is your organization ready to be exposed and engaged in a conversation among equals
- Resources: Assess your human, financial and time resources before indulging in a stretched social media strategy that you can’t maintain
- Industry Social Media Behavior: Benchmark and look for behaviors, trends, and best practices
- Infrastructure: Is your organization ready technically to integrate social media within other existing communications channels
- Data Analysis: Equal to the importance of engaging through social media is the importance of the ability to analyze emerging data and deriving insights. Organizations need to have their measurement tools up and running.
- Set a Strategy: It is critical to incorporate social media in the overall communications strategy and have clear targets and expectations. Ad-hoc behaviors will not benefit a healthy social media presence
- Auditing Parameters: Revise your social media presence periodically and have temperature check to make sure that it is aligned with your strategy