As we are all aware, social platforms are quickly becoming the ideal business platforms. Wrong. Over the course of the next few paragraphs, I will rant about why this is not the case, and how you can turn this into an advantage.
Facebook is reaching saturation of the global technologically-able population, and everyone views this as the best platform ever because, as a company, you can “tap into” this massive resource.
social madness: it’s like the gold rush
The important thing to remember is that hopping on the bandwagon is a dangerous and damaging escapade, which will no doubt end up doing more bad than good in terms of your brand, your social presence and in turn your sales.
It’s not about sales
Valve has recently released their Steam Dev Days videos in which the single common point is “does this add value to the user?”. This is a fundamental question one must ask when engaging in social media of any kind and, indeed, business practises more generally.
By having a Facebook page, are you adding value to the customer? If not, don’t do it. If your goal in having a Facebook page is to gather more customers, then you will surely fail. Twitter (my preferred network, and only social network) is rising in popularity, and it is my belief that it will trump Facebook soon. Does your company have a twitter handle? What do you post about? If you only post about your own company, chances are that nobody wants to hear about that. Post about other companies in the same field as yours. What are they doing right? Praise them. Become a beacon of knowledge in your field. A business who recognises the triumph of others! This is how you can gain credibility.
You can’t be your own social media magician: hire someone to do it
The most important thing, more important than anything else, is to interact with your customers. If you have four customers that are happy, it’s worth far far more to you than twenty unhappy customers. Retweet cool things, not praise about your own company. Post pictures that your customers will be interested in. Nobody likes text, and nobody likes to be sold to. This is not marketing. This is not a sales call. It’s customer service.
This is what is so often misunderstood about social platforms of all kinds: it’s a platform for people, not companies.