Looks free, seems free, but the cost of using social media can weigh heavy on your business or organization’s bottom line.
But the good news is that it’s worth it. Disregarding the impact that social media can have on your business or products grossly underestimates the far-reaching and relationship-building benefits of a community that is all at your fingertips.
Yet learning how to navigate Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more is a time-consuming process that often begins with research and a big learning curve. Where should your company have a presence, who is talking about your products or services and how do you interact and engage the customer in these forums? The deeper you dig, the more you recognize the opportunity to create a buzz about your products and services is right in front of your nose.
Use internal staff or hire a consultant or an agency – no matter how you stack it, social media comes at a cost. Business consultants agree that training employees on how to use it effectively, legally and strategically can mean dedicating a full-time position to the task. hiring a college kid to jump in with can be a costly mistake that trades important publics relations savvy and corporate knowledge for tech-savvy techniques that only wound your relationship with the customer.
Leaving your campaign in the hands of an agency, too, removes the personality or persona of your company from your profiles and can be a steep investment. Experts advise companies to glean the skills from consultants so they can then take on their own social media management is your best investment. It ensures that product or service questions get timely, accurate answers. It puts the power to develop close relationships with your customers back in your hands. And most importantly, it’s a process that is sustainable and affordable.
Don’t know where to begin? Research social media consultants in your area and make an investment in training so you can start harnessing the power of this free network of customers.