Monday, April 23, 2012

So We Want to Do Twitter....

I got a referral from an old client for social media consulting work with a small company in Maple Ridge. After talking to them for an hour, it became clear I had to turn down the gig. 

Why? Don’t I need the extra cash for my Vegas trip this summer? Am I too busy? Is the contract too small? The answer is I totally would love the extra spending money, I am busy (but see the need the cash point) and no it was not too small.

To be honest with you, I see many small companies jump onto the social media train without considering the full implications and work associated with social media. 

I’ve turned away quite a few contracts in the past and advised them against starting in social media. They are always shocked. It's not that I don't want the contract, it's just that social media may not be the best communication tool for you.

 A few things to consider before starting a Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest/Youtube/Flickr/whatever is the next big thing:
  1.  Who is your audience? Time and time again, clients just want me to start a Twitter account or a Facebook page because “everyone else is doing it”. My question to my client is always “Is that where your customers are going to be?” If you are a B2B company where your average client is over 50 and would rather conduct deals over drinks, why would you invest time in a social media program?  Wouldn’t it make more sense to sponsor a golf tournament or do a fancy invite only summer BBQ? It’s old school sure, but there is nothing wrong with it if your clients are old school too!
  2. Consider the channels. Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest all have very different audience and again, it comes back to the question of: “Who and where is audience?” Not every channel is appropriate  for every company. So make sure you invest your time wisely and pick the right ones.
  3.  Do you have the resources to dedicate to social media? Sure it’s all fine and dandy to hire someone like me to come in and develop a plan for you, run a contest, launch your Facebook Page, or whatever, but who is going to maintain it and monitor it afterwards? Is anyone in your company social media savvy enough to maintain a social meida presence? If not, are you willing to get them trained up and have them engaging your audience? Because if you’re not going to do it right, don’t bother at all. Nothing irks me more than a corporate Twitter account that hasn't been updated for months or a Facebook page full of spam.

There’s my little rant. Would I have liked to make some extra cash for a Vegas trip? Sure. But do I want to take money starting something I know is doomed to fail? Hells no.

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