“Do You Do Social Media?” & Other Not-So-Savvy Questions from Small Business

Posted on: May 22nd, 2015 by Wendy Alpine

{3 minutes to read} Recently, I was asked by a small business prospect: “Do you do social media?” I often worry about that question and how to answer it. “Yes,” I reply (because, of course, we “do” social media), but then I explain that social media is just a tool. You need to think about:

  • Why you’re using it;
  • What channels are right for your business;
  • Whether you’re prepared to keep up with it;
  • Who’s going to be responsible for it; and
  • How much you’re willing to spend.

Social media is a great tool, but there are many pitfalls if you’re a business. Just Google “social media blunders by famous brands” and you’ll come up with 553,000 results and a ton of articles. I recalled a lot of those negative stories and more.

When I Googled “bad social media campaigns,” I found 24.6 million results. Conversely, I also Googled “good social media campaigns,” and found more than double the results — 59 million (probably because of all the PR campaigns). I scanned “The 30 Most Brilliant Social Media Campaigns of 2014” and have to say that I didn’t recognize any of them. I was surprised that I didn’t see the ALS Bucket Challenge on there, as I thought that was one of the best social media campaigns ever.

Another social media campaign I just read, but heard nothing about, got an award from Bulldog Reporter, a leading publication for PR people. It was a campaign to boost awareness of Fretlight Guitar using Alice Cooper in a campaign titled, “Stop Quitting.” Heard of it? I didn’t think so, but it won the Gold Award in Bulldog Reporter’s 2014 Digital/Social Awards. According to the PR company, it got more than 100 million media impressions, acquired 3,500 email contacts and 5,000 new Facebook fans. Whoa, that’s great PR!

I’m not saying social media doesn’t work and can’t be an effective tool. I love to use it to pitch reporters. And it can be a great tool to engage with your target market, as many restaurants and retailers do. Just look at how Target used social media (read Instagram) to build excitement about its Lilly Pulitzer line. Many debated whether it was good or bad PR for Target, but regardless it generated a lot of buzz and got people talking about clothes, rather than security breaches.

But before you think it’s the be all and end all, think about how you want to promote your brand, who you want to reach and how you will prepare to handle all those contacts and new Facebook fans once you get them. Perhaps try bio.fm to enhance your brand as it uses one platform to connect all social media and it allows you to share more.

On the flip side, line up your spokespersons, get your crisis team ready and prepare to answer tough questions if things go awry.

Wendy Alpine of www.alpinepr.com Wendy Alpine
wendy@alpinepr.com
www.alpinepr.com
Phone: 404-641-6170
Fax: 404-806-5316

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