I’ve come to the conclusion that social media scares a lot of people. That is understandable. It’s new. It involves unfamiliar protocols and nomenclature. It seems so easy and natural for 16-year-olds, yet is a different world altogether for those of us who still remember where we were when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon.
Nonetheless, social media is here to stay.
So it’s time to take the plunge. Here’s what I recommend: a staged roll-out of social media tools and channels, so that you don’t “bite off more than you can chew.” Start small. Join and use Facebook (really use it; don’t be a bystander or wallflower). See what others in your industry are doing. Become a fan of sites that are delivering the kind of information you wish you were delivering about your company. Your Facebook experience shouldn’t be defined by the number of “friends” you have, but rather by the quality of contacts and experiences you can generate.
Keep a record of the kinds of information and resources you’d like YOUR company’s fan page to deliver. And yes, check out your competitors and what peer companies in different parts of the country (or even the world!) are doing.
And when you are ready, launch your page, keeping in mind it is NOT a website, which can sit fallow for months. Social media IS customer and stakeholder engagement. Be prepared to engage!