The adoption of social media is increasing at high speed. You only have to watch the impressive increase of Twitter and Facebook accounts. They offer both new opportunities and challenges to stand above the crowd. If you listen to all the advice there is hardly any way to escape from it. On the other hand the group of users is still rather small. Besides many accounts are hardly used and there is a big group of very passive users. Depending on your type of business this means you have to analyze carefully where you can meet your potential clients. Because there is still a big chance you have to meet them offline! The social media area might still be a geek domain.
In every part of the world the adoption of social media is different. As we know the US is in general about 3 years ahead of Europe. The adoption of social media like Facebook and Twitter in the US is far more higher than in Europe, although this is changing.
Basically this means that your approach should be different depending on the market you are aiming for.
This evening I presented our experiences with social media in the past year and I tried to share my opinion around the social media hype, because that’s partly what it still is in Europe. I asked who was using social media like Twitter and I have to admit I was shocked. Among this technological audience just about 5% is using it. We have to be aware that the social media usage is still limited to an increasing group of early adopters and close followers.
In my opinion there are 5 reasons why social media might not be suitable for your business.
1. You deliver your services on a local scale and you do not intend to change this.
In this case you can better spend your time on visiting your clients than sitting behind your computer to update your social profiles.
2. Your (potential) clients, your main target group, hardly use social media.
If your target group is not online in general it is a waste of time to make that you have a good looking online social profile.
3. Currently you don’t have any online presence.
In that case there is no use to start your social media exercise. First you will need a website or blog where you can convert visitors into potential clients. Later on you can try to gain more visitors on your website through social media.
4. You offer very specialized and/or expensive services to a limited group of clients.
Probably for you it is even better not to have any online social presence. You know who you have to meet and therefore it’s better to meet face to face.
5. You just don’t believe it will work
If you and/or the majority of the management team doesn’t believe in it better don´t start. Nobody can guarantee you any success when you start using social media. But for sure it won’t be too successful if your management team and other key players within the organization don’t support it.
Of course the above doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give social media a try. I just want to prevent you from having too high expectations. Investing into social media is time consuming. To gain from it you will have to engage with others, meet” them just like you currently do with your (potential) clients. The main difference is that the initial meetings will be mostly online.
In case you want to give social media a try to build an online corporate brand I invite you to check my today’s presentation below.
VP Software Development Europe for Aspire Systems. Sociologist and electrotechnical engineer, a great combination that stimulates him to look for the best working software solutions for clients. Passionate about converting great ideas into new solutions. Married and a proud father of 3 great sons. Training for and participating in triathlons/runs to stay fit.
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