In the last 2-3 months I have enjoyed a big spike in the number of companies reaching out to me about my helping them with social media. The majority of these companies tell me the same thing; 'we don't know what we need to be doing with social media, but we know we need to be doing something'.
As the conversation goes on and I ask questions like 'well how do you know you need to be using social media?', or 'do you know if your customers are using social media?', I can sense the fear. The fear that tells them that they have to do something.
And honestly, can you blame them? Even show is suddenly talking about how to contact the hosts on Twitter, or read their blog. It's easy for a company to feel like they've missed the boat.
But 'doing something' isn't the proper response. If these tools are important enough for your company to be using, it's also important enough for you to make sure that you get it right.
So if your company is concerned that you need to do something with social media, pause, take a deep breath, then ask these questions:
1 - Why do you want to use social media? Is it because you've identified an unmet business need that social media helps correct, or because you feel like you HAVE to 'do something'?
2 - Do your customers use social media? If not, that's often a big hint that maybe you shouldn't be either.
3 - Do you have time to devote to social media? Not just today, but from now on? And how many people can work on social media? The amount of time you can devote to social media also influences which tool(s) you should be using.
But the main point is, don't let fear be what prompts you to jump into the social media waters. Even if Oprah and Ashton are on Twitter, that doesn't mean you have to be. Just because Facebook is adding 500K members a day, doesn't mean you have to be one of them.
And if you aren't sure if you need to be using social media or not, feel free to email me and we'll see if we can figure it out together. Deal?
Pic via Flickr user Doug88888