[I have been writing about social media for #Uganda since 2013. Perhaps now that Forbes is vindicating me, Ugandans might pay more attention.]
I’ve seen people make some pretty stupid mistakes with social media. You can probably recall major companies that faced major meltdowns over careless social media moves.
But I’m not talking about mistakes like those. There is one mistake that will produce even more damage and cause more harm than any others.
Unfortunately, thousands of businesses make this mistake. Worse, they don’t evenrealize that they’re making it. The mistake costs them hundreds of thousands of dollars, years of wasted time, and a social media mess that can take forever to fix.
What is this stupid mistake? It’s the mistake of not having a strategy.
No social media strategy: Mistake number one.
Here’s how social media usually works.
- Step 1: Business knows that social media is important.
- Step 2: Business hears about popular platform.
- Step 3: Business hires a social media specialist (or worse, a “guru”) to “do social media.”
- Step 4: Business hears about another popular social media platform.
- Step 5: Business hires another social media specialist to “engage.”Have you ever seen this process unfold in your business or in other businesses?Unfortunately, that’s how it typically works. It’s nothing more than social media shiny-ball chasing.But now, let’s ask some business-focused questions:
Many of these questions are met with “Um, er” answers from businesses that don’t have a social media strategy.It’s painful to behold. The fact is, this lack of strategy is doing damage to the business in real ways.
- Who are the business’s customers?
- What is the target market?
- What is the best way to reach these customers?
- What is the goal of social media?
- Does the ROI from social media justify its effort and expenditure?
- What actions should the social media audience be taking?
- How does the social media strategy align with business goals and overall revenue?
I could go on, but I think you see the point.Lack of social media strategy opens the company up to all kinds of problems, not to mention the obvious ones such as hemmorhaging money and wasting efforts.
- Without a social media strategy, a business loses money.
- Without a social media strategy, a business surrenders potential effectiveness.
- Without a social media strategy, a business opens itself up to social media gaffes and missteps.
- Without a social media strategy, a business will never gain traction or ROI from its social media campaigns.
- Without a social media strategy, social media fails to become a profitable lead generation source.
- Without a social media strategy, a business doesn’t know what’s working and what’s not.