If you don’t have a brand strategy and rich, compelling content to supply people on at least a semi-consistent basis, I don’t care how many social media channels are out there. You should not be on a single one of them until you figure out what your purpose is and what you’re going to supply in the way of content that people can benefit from.
Until you address that, you have no heart. No soul. No story. No brand.
“Should we be on Facebook?” If you don’t know what you’re going to say there? No.
“Should we be on Pinterest since there’s a lot of women on it and we’re a female-owned company?”
No. You should be on Pinterest if you see an opportunity for people to piece together what you believe and value as a brand (or as a person behind that brand). The fact you share a gender has nothing to do with it.
“I have 25,000 followers on Twitter.” Am I supposed to be impressed by that, really? You could’ve bought those for all I know. Which, by the way, is really stupid and less than genuine. Now, if you were someone who got to that point of greatness through your constant back-and-forth interaction, I think you’ve got something. More than something, actually. You have a story to tell that provides a continuous stream of content that people can benefit from? You’ve got some meat to go with those potatoes. Some heart and soul. Some vision.
“Should we be on (insert any social media channel you want here) since our competitors are there?” No. At least not for that reason alone. Because all you’re doing is playing monkey see, monkey do and following their every move. Do you want to have a purpose or do you want to be a puppet?
Social media is the megaphone. But without knowing what to say and how to say it, all that comes out of it is noise.
For some of you, this may be elementary. If so, my apologies. But there’s still a lot of people out there who are putting up Facebook pages, Twitter handles, YouTube channels and Pinterest boards…without knowing why. Don’t put up a social media channel because everybody’s doing it. Be able to say “We put up a Facebook Page because our audience is there, it’s the best place for us to convey what our brand is trying to say, it’s where we’ve seen strong interaction, etc.”
It’s like buying a house and saying afterward, “Why did we buy that?”
Your spouse looks at you and says, “Well, because everybody said we should.”
“Yeah, but that doesn’t fit with our life’s plan or our goals. I don’t even know if I’m going to like this neighborhood a few years from now.”
“Well, jeez. Why are you telling me this now after we just invested in one of the most important purchases of our lives?”
It’s not easy to walk away from that decision, obviously. Once you’re in, you’re there to stay for a while. It’s not that different from the social media commitment in a way. If you’ve already “bought” a place on social media, it’s hard to suddenly say, “You know what, online universe? We don’t want to be on this channel after all. Never mind.”
It’s not too late to turn that ship around. But take a look in the mirror and ask why you’re there and what you want to say. Everyone should do this self-check regularly, myself included.
The story of your brand can never stop being told. Don’t waste another moment finding out what yours is.