Social media will not save your business. Or make your marketing program successful, and it certainly won’t drive revenue. That is–if it’s not integrated into an existing business ecosystem that, ahem, works.
What social media can do is amplify almost any area of your business: customer acquisition, customer marketing, support, PR, HR, business intelligence, sales, and most other business areas you can think of. But mapping social activities to business goals doesn’t happen by magic. And while social can certainly help these areas, it ain’t gonna fix what’s already broke.
For example, if your customer care is terrible, throwing out a shingle on Twitter specifically for customer service is not going to solve your organizational problem. In fact it might expose more faults than it mitigates. If your marketing strategy is nothing more than to offer half-assed discounts, then posting those half-assed discounts on Facebook is not going to make them any more special or exciting.
Another myth is that is that just by developing and maintaining an engaged community, companies can drive revenue. Now, an engaged community are the supports on which you build on to get to a particular business goal. But it’s not the whole bridge. To illustrate:
Often there is a BIG disconnect between the idea and the desired result, as if having a huge amount of Facebook fans will magically put dollars in the bank.
To be fair, social media can be confusing because it’s often playing several roles simultaneously. And it’s kind of like patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time: you have to keep the steady drumbeat of content and community management while creating channels and programs specifically aimed at meeting a goal.
More on that in “Social Media Will Not Save Your Business, Part 2.”