What should your business do with social media?

Leslie Unger

Friday, July 15th, 2011

For those who get it, social media can potentially reap untold benefits for your business but how? Leslie Ungar from Electric Impulse Communications is here to answer this important question to get you out in the social media pool.

I’m Leslie Unger, Electric Impulse Communications. One question I get, since I have communications in my name, one question I get is about social media. What do we do about social media? And that’s even if someone actually knows to call it social media. They may just say what do we do about this Twitter or this Tweet, you know, this LinkedIn, this Facebook. What do we do about it, let alone blogs and texting. And there’s an easy answer and there’s a more complicated answer. But one is if you are a company of one or a thousand, you need to be involved in this social media. You need to be on Facebook, you need to be on LinkedIn, you need to be on Twitter. You need to be involved because you cannot say we are a 21st Century company, you can’t say we’re cutting edge and not partake in social media.

So the good news-bad news is you need to be involved with it. The maybe good news is that there are no experts. It’s so new in how to help move professional agendas forward that there are no experts. So you are not behind the eight ball. You are only behind the eight ball if you are not using social media. So get your big toe in that pull of social media because different parts of your market communicate differently. So social media is not going to replace traditional media for most of you, although you’ve already seen electronic newsletters are replacing print newsletters, so it will in bits and pieces. But that the exception. We can’t make our rules by the exception.

You need to embrace social media in addition to what you’re doing now, whether it’s written communication with your clients, whether it is verbal communication, whether you’re actually bringing them in; you still need to do that. But you need to add to it, or you need to add LinkedIn, you need to have a blog, you need to have Facebook, and decide as a company are you going to encourage your employees to be on Facebook or are you going to discourage it. You have the NBA on one hand that discourages players from Tweeting especially during games, and you have the NHL that encourages Tweeting.

So you’ve got to decide as a company what are you going to do. But I will say this, your decisions need to be market-driven not CEO-driven. So your decisions need to be what your market tells you they use for their communication, not what the CEO says he or she uses for communication. So you have to look at who are your markets. If you want to entice Gen-Y or what I call young Gen-X, because I believe Gen-X is a very different generation from the younger to the older end, so I call it young Gen-X and old Gen-X. If you want to attract young Gen-Y and Gen-X, then you need to be using social media if you want to attract them for clients, customers, patients, guests, or employees. Because if someone’s looking at your company—and remember the interview process—they’re interviewing you to decide if they want to work at your company just as much as you are interviewing them. Gen-Y and Gen-X are not going to want to go to companies that are not social media savvy.

So you’ve got to decide who are your markets and how to they want to get their communication. And then you’ve got to use all of those, that’s in addition to what you’re presently doing not instead of. And it’s your job, because it’s always the speaker’s job to have the right format of communication. So you have to know with your markets and your clients, or customers, or patients what is the best way that they communicate. Would they prefer text, or would they prefer email, or would they prefer phone call? It’s different per person and it’s different per market.

Social media yes, in addition to what you are already doing. And you’re not behind the eight ball. Everyone is trying to figure it out. The only wrong decision is to not be involved at all.

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