Taking Calculated Risks with Social Media
The catch-22 faced by many companies in mature industries is this: in order to know the value of social media, they must first try it out. Quite the dilemma for those that are already leery of social media.
But in order to know whether or not it is right for your company, you need to run trials. For instance, start with a small presence, hire or outsource a social media specialist and choose a number of metrics to track (e.g. new customers, returning customers, etc.) and judge whether or not there has been a positive uplift in these metrics over a specific period. This way, you will be able to get your feet wet without having to dive head-first into deep social waters.
But perhaps the issue is not whether social media actually works. Instead, maybe you feel as though it is too risky?
For example, one of the largest concerns is the possibility of negative sentiments arising from social media engagement. However, social media can act as a strong online reputation management tool and do more good than harm if approached correctly.
For example, if you operate within the financial services sector, the constant threat of reputation disasters due to inevitable industry regulation can be sobering. However, keep in mind there are always specialist financial PR companies to help you dig you out of the social mayhem if needed.
Overall, social media does come with a perceived risk. However, the benefits far outweigh the potential dangers associated with becoming more transparent with customers and brand advocates. What is the true value of social media? Judge for yourself.
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Tim Aldiss, a 15-year veteran working in digital, is an SEO & social media “geek” with an evident passion for the web. He currently lives in Hove, U.K. and works at BLOOM Worldwide, a social business agency that specializes in social business strategy, insight and change management services. Aldiss has a love for life, technology, sharing, and particularly his 8 year-old son Archie and 2 year-old daughter Lola.
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