Hello there! I’m pretty sure you’re excited about venturing your Company into social media and that’s really commendable. However I must warn you in advance that you’re about to enter into some pretty dangerous waters here. So let me start with the good news. Yes, we’ve witnessed businesses flourishing and growing thanks to social media. Bad news is, we’ve also witnessed the lynching of business reputations by mobs of sadistic social media psychos. But then again, don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to scare you here. On the contrary, I just want to give you a few tips that you’ll need to consider before signing up your company for that social media account. So let’s get down to business, shall we?
1) Are you familiar with Hashtags? – I prefer referring to Hashtags as topics of discussion on social media that are preceded by the hash symbol (#) like #CareerAddict or #SocialMedia and so on. The big question is if you’re familiar with Hashtag abuse? Take Twitter for instance where narcissism and sarcasm more often than not take center stage particularly when it comes to criticism. Hashtag abuse has been used on numerous occasions to tarnish the reputations of respectable businesses. For instance, hashtags such as #CompanyXsucks or #EnterpriseXAreMorons are good examples of hashtag abuse. Big companies such as McDonald’s, Walmart and Starbucks have suffered the biggest brunt of hashtag abuse with numerous twitter handles dedicated solely to quote… ‘exposing the moral decadence of multi-national corporations’… end quote. Surprisingly enough, a resounding majority of these critics don’t account for their claims with concrete evidence which also brings in the question of constructive criticism. That’s why your topic of discussion/ Hashtag should be realistic, professional and devoid of unnecessary hype. Otherwise, ravenously shameless social media hyenas with no sense of decorum are always lurking around to gnaw on whatever remains of delicate business reputations to bits and pieces.
2) What’s the Target Niche Market of your Company? – Facebook and Twitter use the keyword mechanism to give companies the option of influencing a targeted market niche which of course translates to potential sales leads. For instance, if your company starts a Facebook page, it has the premium option of choosing the kind of Facebook fans it wants on its page. Serious Facebook fans translate to sales leads that are highly likely to use the company’s products and give constructive feedback. In fact, I would recommend having a thousand serious sales leads as your Facebook Fans than having 10,000 Facebook fans that just liked the page for the sake of liking it. Numbers do count only if they respond to the needs of the company.
3) Does your Company understand the Psychology behind its Target Market? – Market niches tend to have varying perceptions on social media. First things first is the images and the choice of words that your company portrays. Do they possess that magnetic alluring aspect that dominates a particular market niche? For instance, does your clientele command class and expensive taste? Then it wouldn’t be wise for your company to put up simplistic images that portray a lack of seriousness in your company’s social media presence. If I was the client, I would want to feel like I belong to an exclusive secret club of ‘think alikes’, so to speak. Similarly, if it’s a toy company, then a simple friendly image and tone of words would attract parents with kids. How about a gaming company? Thrill seekers possess ego and have a thing for suspense. There are indeed no boundaries to niche market psychologies. However, understanding is always key to avoid poor social media presence.
According to latest social media statistics, 75% of marketers are of the notion that social media is a key factor in gaining sales leads with over 5 billion social media users currently registered worldwide on multiple platforms. Out of these, 46% use social media for transactional purposes which means that the rest of the 54% could be up to anything. Yes, some are future potential sales leads while others are up to no good. In the end, the kind of impression your company makes will either bring in serious clientele or mere numbers that won’t have any positive impact on the company’s profits.