Don’t panic – it’s not Christmas Eve just yet
How much of your Christmas shopping have you done yet? For some people that question will bring a satisfied smile, while for others it induces a cold sweat.
You probably know at least one person who finished buying their presents before Bonfire Night. These people are always annoyingly organised and sometimes, frankly, smug.
Others won’t get to the shops until Christmas Eve and risk joining other desperate last-minute shoppers poring over the last of the battered boxes on the shelves, missing out on the presents friends and family may actually want.
Companies that have had Facebook pages and Twitter accounts for years – the early adopters – are like the super-organised-shoppers. Those who haven’t started yet may feel more akin to the Christmas Eve department store panic-buyers.
But unlike shopping for Christmas, it’s never too late to start developing your company’s social media.
It’s an area that’s constantly changing, with new social networks emerging all the time. So despite what the early adopters may say, you haven’t missed the boat.
That’s not to say ignore social media either – far from it. The facts speak for themselves; click here for some eye-opening statistics.
If you’re a marketing director reviewing social media policy we’d suggest you start by trying social media tools on a personal level first. Sign up for a Google+ account, start tweeting from a Twitter page and begin to actually use your Facebook profile regularly.
Explore the sites, learn how they work and speak to other users for tips.
Review what other businesses are doing out there – this will help you begin to understand the sorts of things that users respond to (we can show you examples of companies with very good – and contrasting – social media strategies).
Once you’ve familiarised yourself with it on an individual level, you’ll be in a better place to understand how it can work for your business. Before you know it you’ll be tweeting without fear.
You can then devise a strategy for your company – which social media suits you best, who’ll be responsible for it, what the compliance issues are etc. We’ll talk more about that another time.
For now, remember that it’s ok to let the early adopters lead the way. They’ve taken all the risk and put their necks on the line so you don’t have to.
Leading the way isn’t without its pitfalls. Just look at these 10 examples where companies have suffered a public outcry over their social media antics.
These companies have learnt from their mistakes. You can learn from them too!
You can comment on this blog via twitter @bulletinpr and let us know what you think.