Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Is Social Media Right for Every Brand?

A friend of mine asked recently if I foresee a future where every organization has a social media presence. I said yes, but the question is if they'll all be effective. So when is social media not right for a brand, or what brands aren't right for social media?

Launching a social media strategy or campaign might not be right for a brand if:
  • There is no clear or consistent business plan or marketing strategy. It's all well and good to start a Facebook page, but your new fans aren't going to stay with you for long if you're not clear about your products or messages or your plan for the future.
  • The brand's managers don't have the time/knowhow to devote to social media or the ability to hire someone who does. As any social media addict or parent of a socially adept teen can tell you - social media is a time suck. If you don't have the time to devote to your social media strategy (monitoring your channels on a daily basis, interacting with fans and other pages, posting, etc) and you can't (or don't want to) hire someone who does, your brand won't survive or pull much weight in the social arena.
The issue of what brands may or may not be right for social media is contentious. You might think that businesses people don't want to talk about or engage with wouldn't do well, but just type "Funeral Home" into Facebook search and you'd be surprised. (822 people like Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte, Michigan) Even brands people traditionally shy away from admitting they like or don't usually want to interact with can do just fine. I would argue instead that brands that can't consistently provide engaging, meaningful content are the only type that aren't right for social media, and that can be changed.

So what do you think? Can you envision a future where every brand, business and organization  has an effective social media presence?

Thanks to @tomheg for the photo:

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