Are You Ready to Be a Social Business? 10 Tips for a Zoom Start!

iStock 000015624762Small 243x300 Are You Ready to Be a Social Business? 10 Tips for a Zoom Start! There seems to be a mad rush to get on the social band wagon. Even though you and your business have been without Facebook, Twitter, a blog, LinkedIn or Google+ for your entire life and business history all of a sudden someone in your organization who has authority has decided you need to “get on social media,” by next Friday.

Whoooaaa horsey, slow down!

“Doing social” or “getting on social”  is far different from being a social business.

This is the first in a series of posts I will be writing about being social versus doing social.  For the purpose of this post let’s dive into the first question… Are you ready to BE social? Are you ready to BE a social BUSINESS?

10 Questions To Confirm If You’re Ready To Become a Social Business

1. WHY are you doing social media? Do not move to question two, do not pass go as you will not collect your $200 and will go straight to NO ROI jail if you can’t answer this question. Think about what social media can and will do for your business? How can it help you better meet your business goals? How can you better connect with your audience of clients, prospective clients, partners, media etc.? What benefits do you expect because of your efforts in social media? If your only answer to the “why” question is “my boss told me to” or “we have to because all of our competitors are doing it” then I challenge you to hit the pause button now. You are doing it for the wrong reasons.

iStock 000015742269XSmall 300x197 Are You Ready to Be a Social Business? 10 Tips for a Zoom Start! 2. Are you committed? Is your management committed? They need to be committed in both mind and wallet. Are you ready to put in the appropriate amount of resource, time and budget? Social media is not free. It will steal your greatest asset which is time. You must be committed to setting goals, objectives and building an integrated plan for success.

3. Can you put people before tools? This is critical. You must be willing to take a step back to take two steps forward. Stop focusing on learning every feature of every social network. Instead start with your business objectives, your audience and how you can help and connect with them.

4. Are you willing to invest in real people? Are you willing to invest in talking to people like they are human? In getting to know them? In learning what makes them tick? Learn what makes them happy, sad, excited, mad and inspired. The more you can learn about the audience the more you can develop and execute a plan that will deliver results.

5. Can you stop the random acts of social media? We call these rotten random acts of marketing and social media RAMs or RAMMIES. They are not good. They may feel good, taste good while you’re eating them. Hoewver, like a bad hangover they leave you feeling rotten, lifeless and out of gas when they’re done. They eat your bottom line and ROI for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Avoid them at all cost if you want success.

iStock 000016100478XSmall Are You Ready to Be a Social Business? 10 Tips for a Zoom Start!  6. Can you spell INTEGRATION? I know this is a word that has been used for decades in business marketing. Some say it’s a word we should remove from our vocabulary. However, until they can tell me a better word to use to help people understand then I will continue to use it. Bottom line, to eliminate the RAMs in your business, marketing and social media you must integrate. Business leaders usually think integration and planning takes more time and is expensive. WRONG! Yes, it may take some time up front. However, the results can be exponential. You must know where you are going before you can get there.  Integration is what helps you get there faster, more enjoyable and with far better return.

 7. Can you accept failure? This is a big one. You at one point in social media will fail. You will make a mistake. You will launch a social network page that nobody will “like” initially. You will post post on your Facebook wall and nobody will comment or like except you and your mom. However, you can’t let the failures stop you. When it happens go back to your “why”. Go back to your plan. Go back to the “how” you can help your audience. Focus on your audience and helping them meet their objectives and you will fail far less.

 8.Are key departments in the game? The only way you are going to be able to deliver and execute an integrated plan that is focused on your audience that will help you meet business goals and objectives is if your key stakeholders and departments are in the game. If your customer service team is the main interface to the world outside of your office and they are not in support of the business doing social media then it is a recipe for disaster. We have worked with clients where we have spent the first year simply training them and helping them integrate social media into their business. We took 3 steps backward so we could help them take 10 steps forward. We have some case studies being documented but I can tell you the results and decision to do such has been exponential to if we would have rushed them onto Facebook. They now have an integrated platform with an internal team ready to zoom social media!

9. Can you handle the skeletons in the closet? If you properly integrate, work to eliminate the random acts of social media and focus on your audience I can almost guarantee most businesses there are going to be big skeletans that fall out of the closet. It’s okay. It happens to the best companies. There will be sales processes that fall out of the closet that are 100% broken, there will be customer service phone calls that are monitored that show where the bottleneck and black holes are for sales. The best thing you can do is throw the skeletons on the table and deal with them. Have a positive attitude and the rest of your team will too. You are taking a step to move forward. Don’t keep them locked in the closet as they’re bound to come out someday! Might as well deal with them now!

iStock 000004907201Small 300x241 Are You Ready to Be a Social Business? 10 Tips for a Zoom Start! 10. Do you have a social zoom agent? This is someone who is internal to your company. The person may or may not be you. It’s someone who will take on responsibility for the success of becoming a social business. If the social zoom agent is not an executive with authority then at minimum you need to have an executive social zoom champion who will support the social zoom agent. The agent will not pause until the job of becoming a social business is started in a really big way! They will own the success of the engagement, content, approach, strategy, integration. They will see to it randomness is avoided. There is only one result & that is success. This person must eat, sleep and breath a goal of becoming social business.

 

What you say? 

So are you ready? Or do you have some work to do? First step is to admit if you have work to do. Social media is about communication. It’s about connecting with real people. If you can’t talk about the above 10 things internally you are not going to succeed when you venture out into the open, viral world of social media. Be open. Be honest. If you are empowered, take the lead within your organization to achieve success.

What tips can you share with others for how to start social media in the right way? What did you learn the hard way? What would you do different if you had it to do all over again?

About the Author

Pam Moore

*Forbes Top 10 Social Media Women, Forbes top 50 Social Media Power Influencer - CEO / founder of Marketing Nutz, full service social brand, digital marketing agency. Social media marketing speaker, author, strategist, consultant, coach, & trainer. I help businesses of all size integrate social media into the DNA of their business, connect with target audiences to nurture authentic customer relationships. 15+ years experience working with Fortune 500, Franchised corporations with 4000+ local franchises to entrepreneurs and startups!

  • AnnemarieCoach

    Each of these points are so important Pam. I’m surprised at the amount of small businesses who respond with “Well everyone else is doing it, so we should too”. And, it’s a huge eye opener when they realise that social media is not a ‘quick fix’ to getting business in the door, that they have to be committed to the process while put people first.

    I’ll certainly be directing them to your article!

    Best,

    Annemarie

  • gabymenta

    @jbaldovino :D

  • BruceSallan

    Well, I thought a lot about these questions…and, I fear, I am “committed” – to what may not be clear, but I am fully “committed!” – I had no idea you were THIS wise Pam! How much is it going to cost me to hire you, again?

  • http://www.zoomfactoronline.com/ PamMktgNut

    @AnnemarieCoach Thanks AnneMarie. Yes, we see many small biz’s have the dear in the headlights syndrome once they realize what it takes to see real results in social media. I always tell them it’s a marathon not a sprint. They’ve been without Facebook since forever, what’s another month or two to do it right!

    Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  • http://www.zoomfactoronline.com/ PamMktgNut

    @BruceSallan Awww thanks Bruce for the “wise words.” You always make me smile! I am glad to hear you are committed. You will succeed! Maybe you could join one of our upcoming online training series. It would be fun having you in the class! We should talk :)

  • http://thecontentcocktail.com/ C_Pappas

    I love this post because so many people say ‘I want to do social! Xyz is there and we should be too’ and then jump in without any regard to the commitment it takes and the relevancy of participation.

    I would say to ask yourself how you are going to measure your efforts? what is your goal and how are you measuring your efforts against the goal? This is an absolute must because even if you do everything else, you have no baseline to see whats working and whats not and you could find yourself spitting in the wind hoping something will stick to something else. This is something I did not do right away – or rather – I let the executive team tell me what the goals were and then tried to meet them. Not the best way to go if you are the internal social media manager. You should suggest the goals based on the overall marketing/branding/customer retention plans (integration anyone?) and then track yourself against them.

    The commitment question is also huge because I see people run right out of the gate but lose steam. We get really excited when we get new followers, comments on our blog posts, likes on Facebook and we do more but then it wears off and we start to ask ‘what can I blog about’ and ‘how many times a day do I really need to tweet’. If we have a ‘slow’ day, its hard to go back at it the next day for some people. Its just way easier sometimes to give up than plug on.

  • mytimematters

    @glenn_ferrell great article indeed

  • RJGrand

    @PamMktgNut Hi Pam! You’re giving away great #socialmedia info to help #business! I know another Pam Moore, she’s a great gal too! #authors

  • andrewspong

    @FarmerFunster That *has* to be an easy sell to the C-suite ;)

  • rayhiltz

    Let me begin by saying that I love this post and,having just watched your Friday video, am totally sparked by your enthusiasm.

    Now, to the post. When I opened this up this morning, it was like you had taken all the thoughts I had in my brain about social media and company culture and communicated them with a level of clarity and succintness that I can only hope to achieve.

    Social media is still such a mystery to so many people, especially in business. I was attending a sales seminar yesterday and someone actually asked the question: What is social media? I had to check to see if it was ground hog day.

    Unlike a year or two ago, at least most know what the basic platforms & tools are, but have no idea that they have to develop a strategy and integrate these tools into their overall business culture.

    This then becomes a case of business consulting as opposed to simply social media training.

    That represents a huge challenge and learning curve.

    I made the mistake of believing that once a company sees how social media toots increase engagement with clients and open their business to new ones, that they’ll also see the advantage of using these tools to improve communication and interaction within the company.

    Maybe it would be a good idea to share this article with new clients so they can begin to understand that the use of social media goes beyond marketing.

    If used properly, it can be the catalyst for transforming the company to one that is more about listening than announcing.

    Being a social company isn’t some rainbow & unicorn ideal. People aren’t passive listeners anymore. Being a social business means honing up on it’s conversational skills with both internal and external clients.

    Thanks for inspiring me to rant.

    See how motivational you are? :-)

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  • http://www.becometheboss.net/ spyc1

    @PamMktgNut thank you for a gr8 article on Social Media. We started using social media about two years ago to promote our Breakfast With Fran Tarkenton networking event in Toronto, Canada. At best, we have limited success. This article explained why we have been failing.

    Philip

  • Mathewxquitrvo

    @FredricksGroup http://t.co/UnQ7UX6O

  • baerbelsmile

    @PamMktgNut thanks for the 10 great Tips

  • lhcasey

    @PamMktgNut I enjoyed your article.

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  • http://www.pammarketingnut.com PamMktgNut

    Hi @Jessica we will be covering this topic in detail in the new podcast we just launched today. We will also soon have formal online and offline training courses to help people like you identify & stomp the rams!