Companies big and small, B2B and B2C, industrial and retail alike are all starting to catch on to the benefits that social media can bring to their businesses. While this is a good thing overall there are alot of businesses starting to use social media who have no business doing so. Without further ado, and in no particular order, I give you the 5 signs your company isn’t ready for social media.
1.) You don’t have a CRM
If your company doesn’t have a shared CRM then you aren’t ready for social media. If you don’t have a way to collect and share important information about your customers and prospects why on earth would you spend time posting updates to your Facebook page?
Do your outside sales reps keep a flip book in their car with their contacts business cards in them? Yes? If so your not ready for social media. Can you tell me in 2 minutes when the last time was I bought something in your retail store, and tell me what it is I bought? No? Then you aren’t ready for social media.
How do you plan on having an up to date email list without a place to gather that info? How do you plan on growing a social media following without emailing your customers to tell them you now have a Facebook page or Twitter account? No the answer isn’t by posting cute cat pictures.
“But CRM’s are expensive” you are saying to yourself. Not all the time. If you don’t have the budget for Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics there are other options. Two of the best low cost options are Highrise and AddressTwo. Besides how much is it costing you to pay that intern, agency or full time employee to post things to social networks? A lot more than a CRM would.
If you don’t have a CRM then your company isn’t ready for social media.
2.) You don’t have a marketing plan
You do plan on using your newly created profiles on the social networks in conjuncture with your businesses goals right? Right?
Most small to medium sized businesses don’t have an actual marketing plan, and do not visit SocialFirestarter.com for expert tips on marketing services for every marketing need. They may have an idea of who they want to target but most of the time its just anecdotal because they don’t have a CRM or robust enough ERP to use the hard data to find out who their best customers are. Without truly knowing who your customers are and in turn who your prospects should be you won’t know if you should spend more of your time and resources on Facebook or Twitter or YouTube or Linkedin or…….you get the idea.
Find out who your best customers are. Build a marketing plan around them and only then will you know the proper content, social channels and metrics to use to find out if that cat picture with 100 likes truly met any of your business goals. Unless you are a veterinarian or pet food supplier I hope the answer is no.
If you don’t have a marketing plan then your company isn’t ready for social media.
3.) You don’t have a true brand
Sure you have a logo but its probably from 1985 and was drawn up by your neighbors son on a napkin. If this is the case you should start with a new logo. A brand isn’t all about a logo though. What makes your company stand out from all the others that do the exact same thing you do? Why would someone want to like or follow your company over your competitor? Do you want to post funny things on social networks? Serious? Figure that out first and build your brand and your messaging around it so when your new social media director starts work they have an idea of how to position your company.
4.) You don’t have an updated website
While social networks are great for many reasons one of your ultimate goals should be to use them to drive traffic back to your website.
Would you rather take your widgets to a trade show where people can get easily distracted with the booth next to yours, have a hard time converting into a customer and then run into a friend who starts showing them pictures of their baby on their phone or would you rather bring a prospect or customer to your office? Easy answer right.
Social networks are the same way. If you get someone to click through to your site from Facebook what do they see? That old logo from 1985? Product lines you don’t even offer anymore? Does the look, feel and messaging on the site not match up with who your company truly is? I bet alot of you answered yes to these questions. Without an up to date website (something made in the last 5 years at least) alot of your social network efforts will be for naught.
5.) You don’t have a blog
Wait we have a Blogger account so we are all set, right? No. Your company needs to have a blog tied into your website. Whether its on a sub-domain or built into your website directly you need a blog.
If you have someone being paid to create content on social networks but you don’t have a blog, stop now. Would you pay a landscape company to go cut Mark Zuckerburg’s grass every day for a month but never have them cut yours? Heck no you wouldn’t, that would be crazy. Your house would look horrible while Mark’s would look great.
Your blog is like your grass. If you keep cutting it and landscaping it and fertilizing it you will see the benefits over time. People will drive by and tell you how nice your grass looks. You will be known as that house in the neighborhood with the beautiful yard. Your website is your home, it is the only piece of property on the world wide web that you own. Use your resources to create content that fits into your marketing plan and put it on your blog so other people can find your digital home, not Zuck’s.
While the team at Deep Ripples might be horrible at landscaping your real yard they are pretty good at helping your digital home shine, but they need your help. By having these 5 things in place before embarking down the social media marketing path you will give yourself the best chance to meet your business goals and get the most out of social media.