A few days ago I posted a blog about social media and why businesses should want to ‘take up their precious time’ with online dialogue mediums.
Of the dozens and dozens of comments and questions which came back to me over the subsequent hours, it was Facebook which seemed to garner the most opinion and concern.
Some told me how much they ‘hated’ the platform and saw it as nothing more than a broadcast medium for ‘clicky’ groups to tell each other what they had for breakfast or what adorable thing their youngest child had done that morning.
Others said Facebook advertising had been an eye-opening journey for them, but that they didn’t have a bottom-less pit of financial reserve to keep up with the momentum they’d gained in this direction.
What we do know about Facebook, is that statistically, it still seems to be ‘ahead’ in terms of being the global social media channel of choice.
This year, it’s also made some strides to try and prove itself a more viable business proposition for those who still feel it lacks genuine professional mileage and is a poor comparable to the likes of Linkedin in the B2B space.
It can’t be getting it all wrong in that arena however, because Facebook revealed only last month that it now has some 40 million active business pages in use.
Of all the comments about Facebook which struck me most, was from a stressed marketing exec who emailed me to say her boss had dictated that with the presence of Facebook as part of their company’s communication outreach, the sales staff could now restrict the vast amount of time they were deploying in ‘face to face’ coffees and catch-ups with ‘potential leads’.
The author of the email said she was infuriated and concerned that her employer genuinely felt that the marketing tactic could be shifted so far along the scale from ‘personal interaction’ to social media reliance.
I wholeheartedly agreed.
Of course it’s terrific that her boss regards social media as having a presence in their marketing mix – but at the exclusion of real-time personal relationships? Hell no!
With that in mind, here’s a few tips for ensuring you don’t let your social media reliance slip too far and make costly decisions about customer engagement:
Just because you’ve said it once, doesn’t mean the world has heard you:
There’s a danger you can start to believe that because you’ve relayed a message on social media, you’ve reached your entire audience. This is a foolish negligence in your marketing approach.
Social media is an addition to how you can interact and doesn’t ought to fully replace it.
When was the last time you bought me a coffee?
Sounds simple, but actually, if you want to keep your regular clients, media contacts and associates on side, you’re still going to need to catch up with them in person and see the whites of their eyes.
Your PR and marketing strategy needs to take into account how much we humans value ‘people time’.
Bring back employee engagement
One of the areas you can fall victim to over-reliance on social media as a business is assuming your own employees know about all your activities and accomplishments because of social media strands.
Remember that not everyone wants (or has time) to be conveyed to in a faceless way. Keep appropriate engagement up with meetings and off-site team building.
Go Bold. Switch Off.
And if you really feel that everyone in your business is becoming too obsessed with social media and thus reducing creativity for marketing and PR in other ways, take the bold step of having a ‘non social media’ day – perhaps once a quarter.
Make this a day where you encourage staff to interact more with one another and to work with the marketing team to come up with other ways in which you can publicise and illustrate your brand without reliance on online channels!
**I’m currently seeking new consultancy projects in the world of PR, communications, strategy and marketing, so feel free to drop me a line if I can be of assistance. email@example.com