Wow! What an interesting evening! So many points raised and well made at last night’s MD Hub debate on “Social Media; Why Bother?” at Chichester University. I thoroughly enjoyed being on the panel in the lively debate which had some great interaction from the audience.
The debate centred around whether or not social media is essential for company growth, with Jen Smith supporting the argument and John Thacker denying the motion. Those of you who know my strategic background won’t be surprised to know that I was the objective, on the fence speaker!
Here is my position:
People have got into a spin about social media – it’s simply about applying old rules to new tools!
Social media is just another communications channel but it does challenge businesses and how they communicate as it’s not a broadcast channel.
It is not a sales channel and it is not an advertising platform – unless you pay for real estate directly on the platforms.
Social media is about people and communication – it’s about being social and sociable. If you try to sell, people will cut you off.
Instead, it’s about influence, integrity and through this, you find ambassadors. It enables you to raise profile and awareness of you, your knowledge and your business
But… It’s not for everyone
So, if you decide to get involved, then stop, look and listen first! Ask yourself:
- What are you trying to achieve?
- Who are you trying to reach?
- What are you going to say
- How are you going to say it?
- Is social media the right way to go about it?
Social media does not work for every business – it depends if your target market is out there or not. Also, B2B and B2C work very differently; don’t assume that one size fits all and don’t try to compete with a completely different business/ industry
Conversations are out there
People are talking about you already – conversations are already taking place about you, your business, your product, your brand. It’s whether or not you choose to engage but I urge to at least have a look and listen!
You need to be actively engaged in deciding yes or deciding no about engaging – don’t leave it to chance.
Apathy and ignorance are dangerous, as is an assault on the platforms with gay abandon. Social media is about making an informed decision, based on what you want to achieve.