Most people agree social media is great for business. You can build brand awareness in a way that couldn’t be done before, you can measure your efforts in terms of revenue generation more specifically than traditional advertising (like say, a billboard), and you get truly get to know your customer’s wants and needs allowing for very targeted campaigns.
But social media isn’t always a good thing for your brand.
When consulting and coaching emerging designers on their social media strategies, I am often presented with sighs and groans followed by “Do I really need to do this?”
I realize that social media can seem like a chore and when you hear over and over again that it’s an imperative component of a successful business, it can get frustrating.
That’s why I wanted to highlight the ways in which social media is not cool. And then share some ideas on how to deal it.
The pressure to always be social
When your business is on several social media platforms, you often feel a certain amount of pressure to be constantly updating and engaging. When you’re a one person show, that is no easy task. While your goal should ultimately be to fill this role within your company, before you’re ready/able to do that, the only way to deal with the pressure is through time management.
Allot a certain amount of time each day to specific platforms. Spend the time focused only on that task (don’t check your emails!). Post content, respond to comments, share other people’s content, and follow some new people. Then, once your time slot is up, close the platforms.
You may find that you have small increments of additional time (standing in a long line, sitting on the bus) where you can do more but as long as you have allowed yourself a portion of dedicated time each day, you won’t feel like you’re behind or out of the loop.
Bonus tip: don’t post something and then go back to check for engagement every 15 minutes. Respond to engagement in your allotted time.
Brand awareness turns into brand saturation
Yes, it’s true that social media can foster a much more wide spread awareness of your brand at a much faster pace than in the past. But a result of this is brand saturation on the part of the consumer.
How can a consumer be expected to make a choice when they are faced with multiple options every time they open their computers or turn on their phones?
There is no answer that will remove the issue of brand saturation. The only thing a brand (like yours!) can do is take the time to come up with a strong brand story and excellent content strategy.
Ask yourself why your brand is special and communicate that in the best way possible. Then consider what kind of content is truly helpful for potential new customers and produce that content.
If you can do both of those things well, you’re already ahead of a huge percentage of your competition.
Customer service is taken public
It’s scary to think that a customer has the power to add a negative blip on your brand in a very public way. But the reality is, it’s true.
When coming up with your social media strategy, you need to include how you plan to handle negativity against your brand and whether or not you’re going to conduct customer service via a platform (usually Twitter).
While all the planning the world won’t stop someone from complaining about your product or the experience they ha with your brand (even if it’s totally unfounded), having a clear plan will keep you from saying something you regret.
Mistakes can live on forever
This builds on the point above. When something is posted on social media, it is eternal. It doesn’t matter if you delete it, things on social platforms have a way or rearing their ugly heads long after you thought they were gone.
It’s important to remember this as you build your social presence and to make sure, again, that you have a strategy behind what you’re doing.
If you clearly define your voice and tone, and decide what kind of content is allowed to represent your brand, you will have far fewer instances of poorly chosen posts.
It’s totally OK to not be head over heels in love with social media. But you do need to understand that without it, you’re doing your business a disservice. So I hope that these solutions I’ve laid out to some common social media objections make things a little easier as you venture into the space.