Social media is the tempting seductress of the marketing world. It's fairly new and exciting, and it has many marketers drooling. They see others out on the town with her and seeing their success in the form of consumer activity and industry recognition. It's certainly an exciting time to be a marketer.
If all the tools at a brand's disposal were at a bar, social media would be the attractive woman (or man) at the bar that you have to buy a drink for. She's a bit of a mystery, but you know she's what you're looking for. For some marketers, it's a match made in heaven right off the bat, but for others, lust leads to failure because they move too fast.
The Danger of Being Seduced
There is a big danger in being seduced by the tempting promises of social media. Going after the hot and sexy platforms and tactics before your business is ready will always lead to a broken heart.
Before hopping into bed or even planning a wedding, you have to ask yourself if your business is really ready for the commitment. All the stakeholders, key players and organizational challenges need to be identified and addressed first.
Groundwork needs to be set, and everyone needs to be aligned on the reasons why a business is entering the social media space. You need to know what you want to do and how you're going to measure your efforts.
Taking the leap into social media because everyone's doing it and because it's hot and sexy is the mark of death. The level of preparation needed will be unique depending upon the business, but every organization requires some level of prep work. You will, maybe not right away, find yourself down the social media road only to discover that you need to stop in your tracks and potentially move backwards if the prep work isn't done.
Be Honest About Your Organization
It's really easy to look at all that is out there, and say, "I want that and that and that," but you need to look at your organization first. Where are the roadblocks (e.g, Legal, IT, company leadership, HR, etc.)? How is your business organized (e.g., Approval processes, committee organization, etc.)? Are you ready to be nimble, open and more transparent?
Businesses are unique. Some will require much more prep work than others, but it is absolutely essential to audit your business and be honest about what your business can and should do right away and what should be slated for sometime down the road. It may not be the most exciting thing in the world, but laying that initial groundwork will ensure that success won't elude you once you're ready for that first date.