In my opinion, the short answer is yes. But remember, social media is more than Facebook (and for many senior executives this is where their experience ends).
This is a subject that comes up often in client discussions because many organizations remain out of the social media game entirely. I’ve heard many reasons why executives don’t want to engage in social media; it normally breaks down to a belief that it is one or more of the following:
- time-consuming (and hence, expensive)
- not measurable
- only for business to consumer companies
While I acknowledge that it does require some commitment to drive a social media program, it can be said that unless you are an undercover spy there is probably some room for social networking. Here are my arguments FOR social media based on the complaints above (and you can borrow them as you wish!).
Not enough time
It doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and chances are there is someone in your organization that would love to do it. Task them with creating a 12-week plan, building a compelling storyline for what’s happening in the organization. After the posts are written, 20 minutes a day should cover posting, reviewing, and responding if needed. Even if you’re not posting regularly, it’s worth it to keep an eye on what is being said about you.
It’s not measurable
Well, that’s simply not true! There are several tools to track likes, shares, reach, etc. You can also look at engagement and growth. Try Hootsuite, Google Analytics, or Keyhole. If the argue-er is trying to draw a straight line between social media and sales, you might need to borrow from one of the other arguments here.
But, we’re B to B
No matter what business you are in, one way or another, the time will come when you need to share some kind of information beyond the soup of the day. I point to examples like recruitment, sharing goodwill, or responding to a potential crisis.
Choose the platform that works for you. For some businesses, it makes more sense for them to engage on LinkedIn over Snapchat (for example). To these folks I say, at least claim the company name on LinkedIn and provide consistent messaging for you employees to use. Just because you don’t love it doesn’t mean that your people aren’t all over it (and they should be using a professional, consistent voice on social media).
You do put yourself ‘out there’ when you engage in social media but the risk of not having a presence at all far outweighs. Let’s say a disgruntled employee/angry customer/anyone else who disagrees with you for any reason claims your company name and starts trolling the internet? It will take you more time to combat this than to claim your accounts in the first place and monitor (even occasionally). Also if you’re not doing any populating on social sites those negative posts are all people will see when they search you.