There seems to be much debate on this particular question with no absolute answer. From the blogs and articles I’ve read, there is an ongoing ‘tug-of-war’ on the topic. Social media managers and/or firms are trying to pull more customers in (obviously) and businesses small and large are pushing back; unsure if social media is right for them. If in fact it is, are they comfortable letting a third party business control their image and online relationships?
Education is the most vital aspect of this endeavor and that cannot be stressed enough. A company venturing into social media must educate themselves appropriately so not to become overwhelmed and give up too hastily. There are no magic tricks to allow overnight success; it is a process.
On the other side of the coin, a business taking control of social media or majority thereof must have a comprehensive understanding of your company, your personality and your industry. Concise communication is essential to stay up to date and on course with your goals, while keeping your followers informed.
A plan must be put in place with a champion to manage it. There are many ways to go about achieving this. Whether you simply want to hop on the bandwagon, gain more traffic and insight with analytics, or really get in touch with your existing and prospective clients, as long as it is done professionally, ethically and consistently… there is no downside.
5 Tips to Help You Get Started
1) Get Informed – Do some research and make sure you have a fair understanding of social media and what it takes to be successful with it. Look at other businesses in your industry to see what they are doing.
2) Create Achievable Goals – Talk amongst yourselves in the business to see why you are interested and what you expect to get out of it.
3) Devote Enough Time – After your research, you will come to the realization that this can be a full time job in itself. Make sure that either through your staff or through outsourcing, you have enough time to keep at it.
4) Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew – When starting, there is no need to dive in to all aspects of social media. Take it one step at a time if that is all the time you can spare. Start by creating a blog, facebook or Twitter account, then, once you are comfortable, select an additional platform and so on and so forth.
5) Don’t Give Up! – Once more, there are no tricks to ensure overnight success. Have faith; if you are posting interesting information regularly, there is no reason why your traffic shouldn’t continue to grow.
A helpful link on this topic follows, http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/26947.asp