As 2011 ends, the writing on the wall is clear for 2012: Social Media isn’t just for kids. Social networking sites now reach 1.2 billion users–roughly 82 percent of the world’s online population. The influence of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn on our daily life is clear. A recent report shows that social networking accounts for nearly 1 in every 5 online minutes–so if you are still in the “social media is for nerds and kids” you need to get wake up and smell the coffee.
The facts show social media is here to stay. If you’ve resolved to use Social Media for your business in 2012, the team at Spiral16 has some 2012 resolutions for using social media more effectively:
Talk to Your Employees About Impact of Social Media
Talk to the people who work for your company about Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Make sure they understand what can go wrong for the business if social media isn’t used with a little common sense. Tony Wilson at the Globe and Mail makes an excellent point about how individual participation on social media networks
I said social media was a minefield, where even the smallest mistake can result in horrendous damage to a company’s online reputation.
In 2009, Domino’s Pizza had a disaster on its hands when a YouTube video created by two store employees went viral and received international negative attention for the brand. The Domino’s employees didn’t mean any harm, they were just messing around but their actions cost the pizza chain a small fortune. In 2011, Domino’s is very plugged into social media but don’t wait for a crisis to get your business into the habit of daily virtual communication
Don’t Assign Your Social Media Duties to Bambi the Intern
Social media is serious business. Just because your intern uses Facebook or Tom in Accounting likes Twitter—doesn’t mean they are the right choice to be the voice of your business online. I’m not trying to put down younger members of the team who really know what they are doing and do a great job with social media execution. I’m pointing out that businesses need to plan and prepare for social media engagement as a marketing tool, just like all other marketing tools. Don’t just assume that the ability to use Facebook qualifies that person to carry your brand message.
Social Media is SOCIAL
I like the analogy that compares Social Media to a cocktail party. You can still do a lot of business at a cocktail party but it’s all about HOW you approach people. In a social, casual setting you don’t start passing out business cards and talking business! You talk about other matters and then eventually business matters pop up. It’s about being social—hence the name SOCIAL MEDIA.
One of the biggest pitfalls in using social media for business is when companies don’t take the time to LISTEN before they fire up their Twitter or Facebook communication. There is nothing that turns people off faster than talking about “Me! Me! Me!”. In Social Media communities, street credibility is king. Don’t start the process by talking all about YOU—-listen to what people are saying then join the conversation.
Have any other resolutions to add to this list? Talk to us. And have a Happy New Year!