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7 Things You Should Know About Social Media. No. 5: The best argument against using social media

In previous posts, I’ve been giving you a lot of reasons why your business or organisation should become active in social media.

Now, here is the other side of the coin: doing social media properly takes time, perhaps a lot of time, and if you don’t have the time to do it properly, it may be better not to do it at all.0

By “doing it properly”, I mean engaging in the conversation, not just using social media to broadcast your press statements. I mean paying attention to your social media stream, and responding to comments and @mentions, and in general thinking about what you are doing.

The more successful you are as an organisation in using social media, the more responses you are likely to get from your users, and therefore the more time you will need to spend if you are going to deal with them. And you may simply not have time for that, especially if your business has few staff.

So your best decision may be not to get involved in using social media, but if you do think it’s worthwhile getting involved despite the time squeeze, there are ways of making life easier for yourself:

You can sync up various social media accounts so that, for example, everything you tweet also appears as a status update on Facebook. In an ideal world, our advice would be to take slightly different approach to Facebook and to Twitter, but that does take more time.

On Twitter, you can schedule tweets to appear at predetermined times, rather than immediately. This runs the risk that whatever you tweet may have been overtaken by events, but it also means you can prepare tweets when you’re a little less busy, and have them appear without any further effort from you even when you’re really busy.

You can employ an agency to manage your social media presence for you. (hey, you could even ask Webstruxure to do this!) This can work well if done right, but there are some important caveats:

  • You need to work with the agency to develop a social media strategy, so they know what you are trying to achieve with social media, and how to go about helping you achieve it. “Look after our Facebook for us” isn’t really enough, and neither is “Get us on Pinterest”, although, given the growth of Pinterest, this may well be a good starting point.
  • You need to make sure the agency reports regularly on both top-line figures (followers, engagement metrics etc) and on the ‘feel’ of recent social media interactions
  • You need to answer the difficult questions. If a commenter on Facebook says “Love your new website!”, it shouldn’t be hard for the agency to craft an appropriate response. If a commenter asks “Is your company’s A240.6 crunge wocket compatible with the Acme 92cm splurge wurgler?”, then the agency should respond with something like “Thanks for asking. We’ll let you know as soon as possible”, then pass the query on to your company’s crunge wocket expert to provide a helpful and accurate answer.

So there we are. This started out being a post about the best reason not to use social media. It ended up as a post about better ways to use it. Funny, that.

Next time: All about the tone

7 Things You Should Know About Social Media: Read the series

Twitter As A Customer Service Tool

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