I’ll be honest with you: one of the great things about working here at Area 224 is, frankly, cleaning up other people’s messes.
It’s challenging and fun at the same time. And here’s what usually happens – even for the smallest of brands or companies or whomever is on the social webs. We’ll use a hypothetical example of a company that has just purchased the social media silver bullet.
Day 1: This is awesome! We’re going to have customers tripping over themselves to buy stuff from us!
Day 7: Where are the customers? Wait, we should tweet more.
Day 14: We were supposed to have 1000 Facebook fans by now. What gives?
Day 20: John the intern is young, he gets this social stuff. Let him handle it for us.
Day 29: What sort of contract did we sign? Oh, it’s month-to-month? Whew.
Day 31: Social Doesn’t Work.
This mess is, sadly, rather common. And both sides of the social media spectrum – brands and the consultants who love them – are equally at fault.
The value equation needs to be designed up front: what you want to be able to do with your business and how you’ll rely on the agency or consultant to help you.
And consultants: stop selling a bill of goods – this stuff is actually hard work. Honest.
That being said, here’s what we recommend for the “NEXT 30 Days”
First of all, get some numbers. The numbers may suck, in your opinion, but get them.
Did you ask to “get on Twitter?” How many followers did you get? How much interaction? Any engagement?
Do you have a Facebook page? There had to be some activity – quantify that activity.
Whatever the platform, figure out what it is that you’ve spent – in time and dollars – on that platform and your social time.
There’s your benchmark. It’s what we’re going to look at for the next 30 days.
Next, go back to the $64,000 question – “What business problem are you trying to solve?”
Best. Question. Ever.
If you want to use social to gain insights into what people are saying about you, that’s awesome. If you want to use social to sell more of your widgets, that’s awesome, too.
But if you’re not trying to solve a problem – more customers, more traffic, why do our products suck? – then you may want to ask whether you’re barking up the wrong tree.
Your next 30 days can be spent working on whatever social media tactic you think is best. As long as it fits within a broader strategic context.