Most of my clients have made this statement , or something similar, at the beginning of our conversation
We have a small staff and a very finite budget. Which would serve us better — Facebook or Twitter?
I’m guessing that’s one of the most common questions on the minds of marketers and business owners today. I know I need to jump into the social media waters…so which end of the pool should I choose?
Unfortunately, it is the wrong question. Actually, that’s not quite accurate. Sooner or later, it will be the right question. But it’s being asked in the wrong order. It’s not about the tools. I’ts also not about the technology. It’s about the marketing strategy — just like it was long before any of us knew how to tweet.
Here’s some of the right questions in the right order:
- What do I need to accomplish with my marketing efforts/dollars? (Goals)
- How will I meet those goals? (Overarching strategies)
- What do I need to do to successfully execute those strategies? (Tactics) This is where the “would Facebook or Twitter be better for us” question belongs.
Some variations of that question could be:
“Should I start my own website, or just update my LinkedIn page?”
“Should I blog as the CEO, or blog for the company?”
“What’s better for my business – LinkedIn or Facebook?
Again, this is not about the technology, or the tools. It’s what you’d like to achieve. It’s the message you’re trying to get across, to the intended audience. Like any other marketing activity, social media, and social networking are tools, which should be tied with results. Maybe the metrics would be different, and client/twitter follower ratio will not be too encouraging, but there should be some metrics.
It’s also quite important to really understand the tools, the language and etiquette, before jumping in the water. As an individual, you can be forgiven for being goofy, but as a company, you’d better get it right, the first time. A bit of research, and some help from SMEGs (Social Media Experts Group), will put you on the right tracks in no-time.
If you’re reading this, I assume you have a marketing strategy written down somewhere. All you need, is to add a Social Media chapter to it.
Don’t start in the middle. As Stephen Covey has taught us…start with the end in mind. Know what you need to get done…then decide how to do it