by Amanda Cleary Eastep
“Everyone tells me I need to be on Facebook. Does my corrosion control business really need a Facebook Page?”
A business owner asked me this recently aware that I had birthed and have nurtured, like a fourth child, the social media presence at a small liberal arts college for the past five years.
“Ew-y” status updates about corroded pipes immediately sprang to my mind. (Would I “Like” his page? Maybe not, but then, I wouldn’t be his target audience.)
Since we were at a family gathering, we didn’t continue the conversation for long. But I would like to thank Jeff for the question and offer this answer: Maybe.
In 2008, when I jumped on the Facebook bandwagon–and Twitter in 2009–I had developed the following social media strategy for the college.
1. Some of our competitors are doing it.
2. We don’t want to get left behind.
3. I will figure it out as I go and manage it in my “spare” time.
Piss poor strategy or good marketing instincts? Yes.
Most businesses have come to realize that social media is no fad and that they should at least ask the same question Jeff asked me. That question can more easily be answered after businesses answer a few other questions:
1. What is your current marketing strategy? Facebook would be another aspect of your total marketing and would need to be integrated into the overall strategy.
2. Who is your target audience, what are their needs and how could social media serve them? Obviously, this isn’t your personal profile…no pics of your trip to NYC, unless you use this opportunity to talk about the corrosion control efforts to save the Statue of Liberty’s nose.
3. What are your competitor’s doing? Does it seem to be working? If they jumped off a cliff, would you? Probably, if it brought in lots of new customers and a similarly amazing jump in sales. (Although such metrics aren’t the easiest things to measure.)
4. What types of content would you share on your Page? Using social media effectively means engaging with people and providing them with something of value, whether that be:
Information, like about new corrosion control technologies
Entertainment, everyone has a good corrosion story
Service, providing a place for customers to post questions and (hopefully) get quick and helpful answers
5. Do you have someone on your team who could dedicate time to maintaining your company’s social media presence? Even a small amount of time from one employee–or maybe a few employees to spread the responsibility–can make it work effectively.
Thinking over questions like these can help a business answer the Facebook question. Social media is not a one-size fits all marketing tool, but what is?
So, Jeff, should you consider a corrosion control Facebook Page? Yes. Does your business need one? Maybe.
Anyone else asking the same question? What are your reasons for “YES!” or “Hell, no!”?
NOTE: There is a lot of info out there about whether you ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ and ‘how to’ if you do. Here’s one if you decide to go from Maybe to Yes.
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