It’s fashionable to write these – ‘5 tips that will replace years of business experience and distal everything you need to know into less than 500 words’ – type blogs. They are often ‘retweeted’ by people who never read them, but like the headline because it somehow fits with something they think they should be saying.
It seems to be a formula that people consume easily though, so here are my 5 reasons why your business should not be using social media.
1. Because it’s new and cool.
Unfortunately there are a lot of people out there making social media pitches based purely on fashion. There’s a buzz out there. It’s new and improved. If you don’t have it, you are missing out. Every couple of years, something comes along that changes the way people behave. Just because something is covered by the media, does not mean that real people are using it as part of their everyday lives.
2. Because it’s massive. .
I guarantee you that if you have sat through a social media pitch, that you have been bombarded with figures like ‘If Facebook was a country, it would the 4th largest in the world’. The country with the 4th biggest population is Indonesia, yet my bet is that your business has no presence there. What’s more, you probably don’t have any plans to be in Indonesia any time soon. That’s because pure market size is not the only thing that matters to real businesses.
Last week there was a story about how Pepsico were going to use location service FourSquare for marketing purposes. The article reported that FourSquare has a million users. Let’s put that another way – there are about 308 Million people who don’t use FourSquare in the US alone.
3. Because your customers are interacting with each other on social media.
In 2008 there were an estimated 6.5 billion texts sent every month in the UK, but the vast majority were between individuals. There are very few companies (other than mobile networks) that have successfully used SMS text messaging for business.
Just because your customers and potential customers are talking to each other on social media is no guarantee that they want to interact with your business.
4. Because it’s cheap.
Anyone can set up a YouTube account. It doesn’t cost anything to create a Twitter feed or a Facebook page. Creating a LinkedIn Group takes minutes and you can blog away for free on all many of platforms.
Once it’s been set up, you can get an intern or an expert social media consultant to represent your brand assets the best way they see fit, despite in many cases not having any marketing or business credentials.
You’ve probably spent a lot of time and money to create your brand, why risk devaluing one of your most important business assets by cutting corners.
5. Because your competitors are doing it.
I’ve always had a dislike for consultants who think that their technology based model can be applied across industries and businesses without any need for modification. Look out for a social media pitch that tells you that you need to be on social media because there are others in your industry that are doing it. There are probably competitors of yours that do trade-shows or sponsorship or other outdoor advertising that you might not do. Me-too is never a reason to do anything.
1 Reason Your Business Should be Using Social Media.
There are many reasons why your business may benefit from using social media including; better customer service, increased brand awareness, targeted product positioning and understanding your customer’s requirements, but the number one, and only reason that your business should be using social media is…
Because it will deliver you revenue.
Social Media is just another weapon in your sales and marketing arsenal. It has a cost and it has a return. The only reason you should consider using social media for your business is if it is going to have a positive impact on the bottom line.
Value social media the same way you would value any other sales and marketing spend. What are your objectives? How do you know if you have succeeded?
If you are being told that engaging in the conversation is enough and hopefully over time it may lead to sales, then ask yourself how much of your marketing budget you are willing to invest in that hope.
If on the other hand, you are being told how social media can have an impact on key metrics within your business like; transaction frequency, basket value, margin, customer satisfaction and loyalty, market share, recall rate, cost per lead and return on investment, then evaluate those numbers against your current marketing options and make a business decision.