Anyone who’s had just a passing experience or two with social media engines like Facebook and Twitter could pretty fairly conclude it’s a big swamp they don’t need to wade into. BUT, there’s strong reason to start heading in. The waters get clearer over time and the value grows more evident.
This sector is a community of common interests and concerns, and technology is enabling companies to build industry awareness and relationships, distribute information and solicit feedback rapidly, and at no real cost other than time.
If you think Facebook is for birthday photos and seeing what your high school buddies are up to, you’re right. But many, many, many major brands have strong Facebook fan sections set up with hundreds of thousands or even millions of people hooked in to them. It’s a forum to talk to customers, distribute information like videos and product launches, promote events, promote your people, and do recruiting. And a lot of other things.
With Twitter, a little knowledge and the right tools allow you to fine-tune the “stream” of content to your interest area. I use it to flag interesting articles I’ve read online, and read things that people I follow and respect say are worth my time. I know people who follow others for industry intel. If I need to get the word out on something quickly, I have hundreds of people who “follow” me and thousands more who watch for “hashtags” like #digitalsignage and #dooh.
In other words, social is not going away, and if you’re not using it, you need to start.
But have a strategy and rules going in. I’ve seen a few corporate accounts run by junior staff, who think nothing of blending their personal lives into the messages. That can go sideways on you, and quickly.