“We should get into this Social Media thing.” Most companies have at least had the conversation. “My 16 year old (or intern) can get us started on Social Media. She (or he) is on Facebook all the time and I don’t have the time to do it!” Although that sounds like a great idea…. it isn’t!
What you’d be in effect doing is putting your company’s message and voice in the hands of someone with very little knowledge of your strategies, objectives and of your business in general…… OMG….. I bet you never thought of that! Social media for business is really so many things wrapped into one: marketing, customer service, public relations, crisis management, branding. How deep is the experience of a young person in delivering any of these things? Why would you entrust your brands presence on a new platform to someone without the ability to establish clear and measurable business objectives? Although Social Media looks rather simple, it’s not. As with all new marketing initiatives, it involves a strategy around which you create tactics and measurable results. Based on those results you then have the opportunity of making corrections to your Social Media initiatives as needed….. much like you would in your other marketing programs. The game changer though is that unlike other marketing channels, it’s multidirectional. Unlike traditional advertising, Social Media marketing is a one to one conversation between your brand and the marketplace. This is an incredible opportunity for any business….. one that didn’t exist a few short years ago & must be leveraged! Don’t entrust the conversation you have with your demographic to someone who isn’t privy to your business needs!
Don’t get me wrong though, there are ways you can get your kids or intern involved. While they alone shouldn’t be responsible for being your company’s Social Media voice, they can certainly help out as you become involved with the various channels. Working with the people in your company who are responsible for strategies & objectives, they can learn more about your business and apply his or her social media insights as digital natives to your objectives. They can also direct you to new Facebook features or depending on your business needs, to complimentary networks such as YouTube, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. With guidance on your strategies and a firm understanding of your corporate voice your intern or teenager can also assist with your Social Media presence. You can’t make every post or tweet yourself!
The takeaway from this is that rather than saying your teenagers or intern can’t handle being the Social Media voice of your company that you should be taking Social Media seriously and not as a trivial side project. I’m well aware that any 12 year old knows how to make a Facebook post but leveraging content for business is a whole other game. Work with professionals who understand both the media & the marketplace who will partner with you in a relationship where your strategies and objectives are leveraged through the channel that best suits your business needs.
I look forward to your comments and please share!