There are thousands of brands and organisations currently using social media as part of their day-to-day communications or even customer service activity. Some are just testing the waters with a dedicated Facebook page, whereas others are successfully utilising all kinds of online tools.
However, there are still many that are a little apprehensive about integrating social media into their current activity and this is really no surprise.
Firstly, there’s a general misconception that far too much time needs to be invested in order to make it work. There certainly needs to be detailed thought, consideration and research put into any kind of online activity. However, it doesn’t have to be time consuming if it’s done right. You can use the tools that are right for you and don’t have to sign up for everything you see and read on Mashable.
Many also fear that they’ll slip up and industry publications and leaders will criticise their activity. Although there have been some cases of brands making big errors online, these kind of mistakes can be avoided through the creation of social media guidelines, internal education and increased knowledge of online etiquette.
Finally, brands feel if they open such honest and transparent communication channels, they will be more susceptible to criticism from their customers. However, the key thing to remember here is angry customers will write about your brand whether you are online or not. Therefore, it’s better in the long-run that they complain somewhere where you can see and monitor the criticism, you can show you’re responding to it and taking it seriously and finally you can show other people you’re acknowledging it and working to fix it.
Regardless of what concerns you may have, the advantages of building an online profile through social media channels really do outweigh the benefits:
1. You can build a strong and consistent voice for your brand across multiple channels
2. You can make a direct connection between your brand and your customers
3. You can build relationships with other people such as other businesses and potential employees
4. You can ensure your content is present in search results
There are countless other advantages to building an online presence through social media tools and channels. We’d be more than happy to talk you through them and explain how they can really benefit your business and more importantly, that there’s really nothing to be scared of or concerned about.
Image via birgerking’s Flickr.