Everyone can create a business Facebook page. My friend admitted that her 19 year old neighbor created one for her father's small business. "It was for free," she said, "about a year ago." Soon afterwards, the guy was nowhere to be found. "No biggie," she commented. Her father, the owner of the business, totally forgot about it. Until last week.
On Wednesday afternoon, one of his customers stopped by the store and reluctantly asked him why is he allowing people to post vulgar messages on his Facebook page. She politely added that she really likes his store but wondered what is going on behind the scenes... It took my friend's father a minute or two to get a grip on what she was talking about. He was not aware of such activity and had no idea where to go for help. The administrator of the page, was long gone and the road to take care of situations like this is a bumpy one.
A similar scenario is happening everywhere: Social Media Marketing excited everyone a few years ago. Many small businesses and shops created a page or two either on their own, or by their techy-friends. They posted a few posts and then totally abandoned the whole idea... The same with the page administrators: they were nowhere to be found.
It is common knowledge that almost everyone knows how, and can create a basic social media profile. Upload a few a few pictures, get a few friends and family to know about it and call it good. Everyone can generate some spotty social engagement, the same way everyone can cook, take a picture, or do some handy work at home.... Unfortunately, that does not make them a restaurant chef, professional photographer, construction company manager or Social Media marketer. And there is always the question they ask themselves at the end: why did all this effort not pay off? It did not pay off because it was not done professionally.
Fixing a window on your own, why not? Creating your own in-store price tags, it will take forever, but hey - why not?
Creating your business' professional reputation in front of 700 million people nationwide on your own? Heck NO!!!!
I don't think small business owners realize how big Social Media is about to become. They do not believe that anyone is really looking for their business or checking out who they are. A BIG mistake. Nowadays, consumers check on line for everything first. If your business profile page is abandoned, as far as a regular consumer can tell, they may think that your company is out of business. Once it was created, your profile page had a chance; someone discovered it, posted a few words, liked it or followed it. Since they never received any response and/or acknowledgment, they quickly lost their interest. You lost your potential customers!
The other thing is, you abandoned your page. What does that say about you? Now, your abandoned page may become a liability - remember my friend's father's story? They are still working with Facebook to resolve the issue.
There are other things that can damage your business' reputation as much as abandoning your pages. For example, having the wrong person handle your Social Media Marketing. As you know, your business Social Media image should be all about care for your customers, great service, quality of your product and your general "awesomeness."
Unfortunately, most of the Social Media contributors nowadays are untrained and illiterate about Social Media Marketing. They are usually unclear about their role, unaware of Social Marketing goals and completely out of tune with the company's mission. They were usually chosen to manage this aspect of the business for the wrong reasons (tight marketing budget, person has a Facebook page and "knows how to do it", she or he is a member of the "new generation" and "knows computers"...etc).
The perfect Social Media marketer is an "out of this world creature," a mixture of winning content copywriter, professional graphic designer, Social Media guru, Web application developer geek, sales manager, trainer... all rolled into one. Hard to find...
All joking aside, successful Social Media Marketing requires a team.
- Creatives who are able to deliver high quality content for your interactions and professionally create your visual image.
- An IT guru who will put in place quick and reliable communication tools to keep in touch with you 24/7.
- A Web application developer and coder who will develop useful Social Media apps for your pages and integrate them with your website.
-An experienced project manager who will help you integrate your CRM (customer relationship management) system into your sales pipeline and much, much more...
Admit it folks, there is more to Social Media Marketing than meets the eye!
What to say? I will say the thing we have all heard at least once before: "...This is performed by a trained proffesional so please do not try doing this at home!..."