There’s a lot of advice on how to make the most out of social media out there, but there are two things that companies attempting to ramp up for social media success don’t often hear. The first is that they don’t have to be experts at social media in order to reap benefits from it, and the second is that they don’t have to—and shouldn’t—attempt to offer everything under the sun in an effort to compete effectively via social media.
Below are two ways to dive into social media success without draining your resources and causing more problems than sales opportunities.
1. Don’t wait to be ready to dive into social media.
If you wait until you have all of your ducks in a row or until you can afford to hire third-party content marketing professionals, you’re going to reap zero benefits from social media during the wait. If, instead, you go ahead and set up your Facebook, Linked and Twitter pages and develop even the most bare-bones, time and resource-sensitive plan for making regular posts, you can at least reap some rewards (market intelligence, at the very least) while you wait until you can properly develop and implement an optimal social media sales and marketing strategy.
Creating and executing concerted social media campaigns is becoming the norm, but social media is still very much like the Wild West. Don’t be afraid to pull out your guns and find out which bullets hit and miss as you search for optimal social media solutions.
2. If your company isn’t a one-stop-shop, don’t present it as one.
It may be tempting to present your company as a one-stop-shop, but doing it on social media can create a backlash if you’re not really ready to make good on such a claim. You can take certain risks on social networks, but claiming to be able to provide quality products or services that haven’t been proven or tested can create more problems than viable sales opportunities. Before you advertise a product or service on social media, consider how well your sales team is trained to sell your offering, how capable you really are of managing new orders if a slew of them were to suddenly come in, and how not being able to meet the needs of new prospects and customers with set expectations might negatively impact your company’s online and overall reputation.
Instead of presenting your company as a one-stop-shop right off the bat, or offering a new product or service that hasn’t been fully tried and tested, consider asking your social media audience questions about potential offerings that will help you determine interest levels. By asking questions rather than making uncertain claims, you will be more likely to run into prospects that are willing to test the waters with you as you grow and develop, and less likely to disappoint prospects by setting expectations that you may not be prepared meet.
Disappointed prospects are wastes of time and risks. They clog up sales pipelines and can easily generate negative online content that takes a significant amount of effort to combat. If you don’t have a well-developed social media marketing strategy in place, keeping your social media messages focused on your core offerings and specializations is the best way to avoid pitfalls and challenges that you might be unprepared to manage.