Almost every day I get client questions about social media channels: should I build a Facebook page? A YouTube Channel? A Twitter channel? Can I use a MySpace page? Should I build a company profile in LinkedIn?
My usual response is framed around business objectives. I start by asking: ‘what do you want to achieve business wise?’ ‘Who are you trying to reach?’ and so on. The rationale being, of course, that your objectives should determine which channels you use.
Of course, it’s the right response, but I have to admit it’s also not very sexy. Especially for businesses just getting started in social media. Many more people understand the ‘social’ aspect of social media, rather than the ‘media’ bit.
So, especially with clients totally new to social media I have started to answer this question differently. More and more, I answer: ‘don’t ask me, ask your customers!’
You have a database or customer client list, right? Why not create a little poll, asking who uses what channel, and what for. Then ask them if they would like to see your company in social media more. Where? Why? What can you offer them? What would they like to see?
It doesn’t have to be a big questionnaire. And you can do it as informally as you like. Just test it out and see what happens. How?
“Hi there Customers, we are looking into this social media thing. Before we go ahead, we’d like to ask if you use social media. And what do you use it for? If you took a minute to help us out, that would be great! Thanks, Our company.”
That’s all it takes. Don’t be shy. Just be social. Involve your customers. It’s a great entry point into social media.