Last week I discussed what a social media expert is. Today, I thought I’d look at the flip side of that spectrum and define what a social business is.
According to socialmediabusiness.com, social business is like eating spaghetti with a spoon (http://bit.ly/wqIuvk) – I absolutely love this analogy. For most businesses, they “bite off more than they can chew” and “their eyes are bigger than their stomachs.” Although that’s a little cliche-overload, I believe it to be true.
A lot of businesses want to be social. And who wouldn’t? It’s the latest and greatest trend. If companies aren’t even apparent on social media and making some sort of effort to be social, they’re considered out-dated and ancient. But, not all companies know how to effectively utilize the social media platforms with their marketing goals; hence the spaghetti analogy.
Businesses see an appetizing plate of spaghetti, start swirling their forks to get a legitimate bite, end up eating half the plate in the first bite, chew and repeat. It’s a recipe made for disaster. Literally.
What brands should do is strategize, implement, monitor and revise. Social media is an ongoing process that needs content organization, conversations with consumers, and up-to-date timely information. Taking the spaghetti analogy further, I believe businesses should take time investing in finding a good spaghetti sauce recipe, research the grocery store with the freshest products, take time and patience in making the gravy and slowly indulge once the pasta is cooked.
Let’s be honest, once the pasta is cooked, you’re not going to eat this delicious pasta you made all by yourself! Assume you invited 3 of your closest friends to join you; after all it’s called social media for a reason. Make sure you actively engage your audience. According to the same article,
“becoming a social business is about your people engaging, communicating, sharing with and helping the people in a way that brings value to the people and supports your brand promise.”
So, while enjoying your pasta make sure to engage in conversations with your guests. You invited them over to dinner for more than a free meal. Show interest in their lives while also talking about your own life but don’t dominate the conversation or become too pushy. Social media is no different. Brands should follow similar communication norms as we partake in real life.
Once the pasta is finished though, don’t stop there, remember to clean up the mess you left in the kitchen. Your spaghetti dinner doesn’t end once you’re done eating and neither should social media. Remember, it’s an ongoing conversation. Make sure to monitor negative WOM and clean up any messes that might inevitably corrupt.
Maybe I went too far with this spaghetti reference… but blame my Italian roots – I can’t help it. Hopefully next time you decide to dive into a plate of spaghetti (aka managing a social media account for your business), make sure you remember my five key steps: strategize, implement, monitor and revise.