Are your social efforts leading to increased revenue? Does having a million likes or followers or +1s mean anything to your bottom line? You might want to think about it.
For many companies it just doesnâ€™t make sense. A big waste of time and money. It is an exciting prospect to communicate with customers on an intimate level but donâ€™t think you have to do it or social media is the only way to do it.
Are you participating in social media because you think you have to, or because it helps your business?
There are plenty of proponents of social media. It can be a good way of communicating with customer but not the only way. If you are only getting into social media because your competition is or because youâ€™ve heard a lot about it, than you really need to look at your options.
How Good is the Feedback?
Social media is a great way for customers to communicate with your business, but do you really need that communication and can you get it in other ways? Large corporations are one thing, but for smaller companies could a phone call or even a personal visit be that much more effective. Not only that but just how good is the feedback you get. Letting customers talk at you doesnâ€™t mean they will say anything useful. You can spend time and money creating a viral video and everyone might love it but what did it get you except for exposure from a lot of people who may have no interest in your business or products.
Yah, yah, it is good to hear negative feedback so you can make improvements but does that have to happen out in public. Most companies have a good idea where the weaknesses are but do you need to broadcast them for everyone to see? People are not brutally honest online, they are just brutal. Have you ever spent time reading the comments on Youtube videos? Ever read customer services forums? Those people are vicious. In real life Iâ€™m sure they are polite everyday folks but online people become overdramatic, pretentious jerks. And it doesnâ€™t take much to get an e-mob on your hands if you handle a situation incorrectly. People say any publicity is good publicity, I disagree.
Are your customers responding to your efforts?
If it feels like you are talking to yourself you probably are. Maybe social media would be good for your business but if customers are not responding than cut your loses, do something different. If you need feedback create a focus group or survey. If you are trying to promote your business online, try buying adspace on popular websites, improve your own website, advertise with traditional methods.
Are your products those that need any kind of social outlet for customers. Do funeral homes need a Facebook fan page? No, no they donâ€™t, and there are many other companies that donâ€™t either.
How Much Money is Your Time Worth?
If you are paying someone to do your social media you need to think about what else you could be getting with that money. Might another type of advertising be more effective. If you do social media yourself you should still clock your hours. It might not be costing you anything but what else could you be doing with that time. It is possible there are other methods to increase sales besides social media. Call your vendors, go to trade shows, conduct a focus group, there are other options out there.
The biggest problem and maybe the reason why social media is so popular, is because it is very difficult to measure conversions. It is easy to see how many followers you have but what have they done to increase sales? The same can be said for other types of advertising but ask your customers and vendors if it is working or not. You might not need to drop all your social efforts but at least see which ones are working.
Let me know your thoughts? I know there are some people out there who have wasted time on social media. Lets hear about it.