Signing up for a Facebook account takes less than five minutes. Creating a Twitter account eats up about the same amount of time. Even starting a corporate blog or podcasting channel is quicker than brushing your teeth. No wonder social media has become a popular choice for businesses. It’s easy to use and free (most of the time).
Businesses have noticed that consumers are using social media on a daily basis, especially social networking sites and micro-blogging sites. And just like in Filipino traffic, wherever the pasahero (passenger) is, the jeepney driver follows.
According to the Cone Consumer Media Study, in 2009 alone, consumers feel a stronger connection with companies or brands present in new social media (72%, up from 56% in 2008). Along with the increase of presence of consumers in social media, the interaction is becoming more and more frequent too.
If consumers are not “Friends” with brands, they’re either “Fans” or “Followers“. Great! But creating that online account is just step one. Right? It has to be. As communication theories of all sort would say, communication is purpose. And I’d like to believe there has to be a deeper purpose in clicking that Sign Up button. :)
Before creating that online account or website, I believe an organization should have a specific goal (or set of goals) in mind and of course a set of measures to go with it. This one, organizations might be forgetting as they are hurrying to join the bandwagon, perhaps to catch up with competitors. Worse, organizations might be using social media to be visible or as the popular phrase goes, “just because”.
Thinking before talking is a good idea but when it comes to social media it just ain’t enough. Communicating through social media requires thinking plus so much more. Research, goal identification, and brainstorming among others, is considered necessary Are you trying to:
- Establish a closer relationship with your target audience
- Identify new customers and prospects
- Develop an audience for your content
- Increase sales of existing products
- Introduce a new product
- Increase retention of your customer
- Rework your audience’ perception of you
- Gather feedback
- Break through new geographic markets
Whichever it is/they are among these, I believe it is ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS important that we (I cannot stress this enough) know where we want to go because only then will we know which path to take. :) Clicking SIGN UP has to be a small part of a bigger plan. We should be using social media not only for our presence to be seen, but also be felt.
And because I refuse to let this entry be an all-text blog, listen to Phoebe’s “Plan Laugh” :)