Companies feel the pressure to be represented in the social space, and for good reason. Conversations are happening about their products and services whether the brand is present online or not. By opening a Twitter or Facebook account, brands can influence and encourage discussion.

But just because everyone else is doing it, does that mean you should?

We’re about to share an unoriginal analogy – social media is like a free puppy. We wish we could credit the person who originally coined that thought, but we can’t because so many people have reached that comparison on their own. Why? Because like a free puppy, social media can be a wonderful gift. Taking a puppy into your house if unprepared, however, can create a huge, huge mess.

If a brand isn’t prepared to launch, and continually support, a social media account, they shouldn’t open that account.

Imagine an unhappy customer taking to a company’s Facebook page to ask for help. If the company isn’t prepared to handle complaints through that channel, or hasn’t properly trained their social media staffer in how to best respond, this customer’s bad experience might just get worse.

And unlike a phone call, this experience is playing out publicly.

Before creating an account, consider these preliminary questions:

  • What are your business goals and how does social media help achieve those goals?
  • Who will manage your social media discussions?
  • What hours of the day will they be responsible for responding?
  • How will you communicate those hours to the public?
  • Do you have the resources to effectively maintain these channels?
  • Do you have a crisis management plan in place? How will you manage potentially harmful discussions by your followers? By your employees?
  • Have you considered all of the ways your customers may engage with the channel (including negatively)?
  • Have you developed a social guidelines document for your employees? For your social channels?
  • How will you measure how effective your social media efforts are?

Don’t get us wrong. We love puppies at Simantel. We just want to make sure any puppies, and client digital profiles, we come in contact with get the attention they deserve.

Considering social media strategy for your business? Our digital strategists are happy to compile insights to guide the process – email for information. 

Further Reading

Great post by Jennifer Keegan further explaining social media as a puppy.