Not long ago, we had a client come in for a meeting. It was one of those nice face-to-face catch-up meetings that we love to have with our clients. One of the things the client wanted to talk to us about was social media. They of course have not been oblivious to the fact that a lot of companies are integrating social media into their marketing, but they weren’t sure if their particular business model was a great match for a platform like Facebook or Twitter. They wanted our opinion on whether they should jump into social media or not.
Our answer was no.
Are you surprised? We figured you might be. After all, we’re an agency. Aren’t agencies supposed to tell clients to do as much as possible? That’s how we make our money, right? Moreover, who is NOT using social media these days? It’s like the phone, isn’t it? And besides, lots of well-known people in the world of social media have said that if you are not using social media in your marketing plan, you’re way behind the 8-ball. Miles Austin, known as the “web tools guy,” wrote a post back in 2011 saying that there were a lot of “lame” excuses for not using social media. A full year before that, way back in 2010 (3 years is an eternity in the online world), well-known blogger Steve Olenski wrote a post for Social Media Today deriding companies that were not using social media. Imagine what they would say about companies not using social media now!
Yet we’re here telling you that we actually advised a client of ours to refrain. Are we taking crazy pills or what?
It’s Not As Crazy As You Might Think
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Ever since the social media “revolution” started, we have approached our clients with the same approach when they ask whether they should start “doing” social media. We ask what they would hope to achieve. We ask why they are thinking the time is right. We ask who at their company would handle the day-to- responsibilities tied to a social media presence. After discussing all of those factors, if social media still seems like a good idea, our next recommendation is usually, “Let us do some research.” Are their customers there? Is there any online buzz about their type of product? What are key competitors doing?
In the case of the client who visited us, we did not need research to understand that social media would not be a good investment of their money or time right now. They know exactly who their customers are. They are targetingspecific people at specific companies. Social Media simply would not make sense for them right now.
There are probably many companies in the same boat. Why preach to them the value of social media when it simply would not be a good fit? We don’t feel there’s a good reason to go down that path.
What should YOU do?
Are you wondering whether you should begin to dip your toe into the world of social media marketing? We understand it can be intimidating and exciting all at the same time. Our advice is to follow the same steps we go through with our clients. Can you identify what you are hoping to accomplish as a company or do you just want to be able to say you have a Facebook presence? Who will do the actual implementation? Why do you feel now is a good time to invest in social media? Of course, if you want an outside perspective, you’re always welcome to contact us. Our primary piece of advice – don’t let the peer pressure surrounding social media make the decision for you. Weigh your objectives, your investment (in time AND money), and what you will be able to accomplish with your current marketing budget and workforce.
We hope this helps!
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/valeriebb/3006348550/sizes/ via Creative Commons