(I had this post kicking around, I kind of dislike it but at the same time I think the point I am trying to make is a good one. So I figured I would throw it up on the blog because I don’t know if I ever will be happy with it.)
I have been consulting or working inhouse for companies dealing with social media for six years. Over that period of time I’ve worked with companies ranging from tiny non-profits to large Fortune 500 companies. In the last two years I have kept my feet in both spaces because I like the different types of creative solutions that they require
While the solutions for a large company versus a small company are usually pretty different because of the size, scope, and budget the one thing that routinely stays the same are the problems. When we talk about social media I think this point often gets lost in the discussion, people assume that because large companies have the resources to throw at solutions that they don’t have the same problems your small business does. That just isn’t true.
Here are three common issues I see in both small businesses and large companies:
1) Listening- Getting started, listening to what is being said about your company on the social web is the easy part. People will often will set up keyword searches on Twitter around their brand and will sign up to something like Google Alerts. When you get awoken to what is out there and you realize that you could be missing out on other possible conversations, this is when things get more complex
Companies of all sizes face problems from configuring their listening tools to figuring out how and when they are going to respond. Listening tools – whether a combination of free tools or paid enterprise tools – need significant testing and adjusting.
2) Content Creation – Who is going to do it? Where is going to come from? If we get our community involved, how is that content going to be moderated or presented? These questions are ones that I have been asked in the last year by two different companies – one had ten employees the other had ten thousand.
3) Being Efficient – If you don’t approach social media with some sort of strategy or vision, it can be a massive time suck. With all the great content, conversations, and sharing that is going on you could easily sit down and look up four hours later wondering what you have been doing. A combination of strategy, tools, and time management go a long way into making your participation in social media efficient.
So why write this post? Like I said above; while the solutions for these problems are usually vastly different, understanding them and seeing why they are important are universal. A lot of companies don’t pay attention to these three key points. Some want to skip ahead and just get involved with specific tools, some want to make a big splash and do something cool, others start participating but aren’t efficient with it and social media is viewed as a waste because it wasn’t used effectively for that company.
Big or small, these are common problems that need to be addressed. If they aren’t, you are going to have a pretty ineffective social media presence no how much money or manhours you throw at it.
Honestly, the entire reason I wanted to write this blog post was to reference a Notorious B.I.G. song.