This is a guest post from Darren Healy, Director and founder of Uber Social Media, a young company specialising in Social Media Management and Development mainly for SME’s in Scotland.
A lot of people talk about the hype surrounding social media. Some say that the hype is well founded, others think social media is hyped-up beyond what it should be. Regardless of stance, discussions of hype are usually focused on specific social platforms e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Path, LinkedIn, YouTube etc.
What we all need to remember is this:
The real hype of social media is not platform specific. The game changer of the Social Media Revolution is customer empowerment; the shift of power from brands and corporates to social customers. Never before has consumer power…no, people power…..been so important. Don’t mix up the hype surrounding social platforms with the real hype of customers being in control. Accepting the power shift to customers is the starting point in developing a successful social media strategy. The key question to ask is how can we best use the various social platforms to build strong customer relationships?
Do your research. Find out what similar companies are doing in this space. Does it look like it’s working? What platforms have they been using? What could I realistically do here? What would I use it for? How does it relate to where I am and where I want to be? Think more strategically, go through each of the main social platforms, weigh them up and use some common sense!
Social media is evolving more and more. The hype is there for a reason, but make sure your involvement in social media is planned and fully aligned with company goals. Otherwise you’ll just get lost in the hype. Ensure that your social media efforts are fully coordinated with more ‘traditional’ forms of marketing communications and customer management. Come at it from a balanced viewpoint, coordinate efforts, link goals, see what happens and then measure the results.
Feedback and comment very welcome. What are your thoughts? Is social media over-hyped and over-sold? Are you ready for the challenge presented by customer empowerment?