There’s a Giant Snowball Headed Your Way

iStock_000003032907XSmallI ran across a post in our forums, and was glad to see the discussion started. It’s a question almost every company/entity/individual has to ask these days as business practices are steadily becoming more social: “Should I have a presence on Twitter/Facebook/MySpace/Linked In, etc.?”

In my opinion (and I’m no expert but rather a willing student of social media) the answer is yes and no.  I was once asked in a job interview (for this job as a matter of fact) if I thought you should be engaged in as many social media channels as possible or if there should be a limit. After carefully considering my answer – because I had no idea what side of the fence my potential boss fell on – I said with resolution, “Never bite off more than you can chew.” I still stick to that guiding philosophy.  I do however see the merit in building your social media practices until you have a presence in the places your customers already exist – and if you don’t know where they exist, do a little research and find out. If it’s not at least an active goal to become fully engaged in the channels that make the most sense for your business, it should. It’s the way things are headed and the social media movement is most definitely snowballing into a marketplace standard. If you sell stuff – get social. If you offer services – it’s time to expand your networking methods.

While there is much to gain by adding social media to your marketing arsenal, there are also many pitfalls to consider. I was taught growing up, if you’re going to do something, do it well. The same holds true with social media. The cardinal rule to any successful social media campaign is to follow through and keep your audience engaged with useful information and not an intrusive flow of sales-driven messages (that’s a post for another time). You can’t treat your channels like a fad diet, where you’re gung ho one week, but lose interest the next. That’s brand reputation suicide, and it’s hard to recover trust from your followers once you’ve lost it.

So there you have it. That’s just my two cents, but if you really want to tune in to what the experts have to say, I’d highly recommend adding Jay Baer’s “Convince and Convert” blog to your bookmarks. You won’t be disappointed.

So what about you? Are you engaged? Do you have tips/insights/success stories/ cautionary tales? Leave a comment and let us know!

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