Social networks are all the rage and many of my posts at OnlineMarketerBlog recommend social tools for businesses. However, there are potential pitfalls to consider before you facilitate interaction between customers and your business.
Here are 21 things your business should consider before starting a social network:
Internal (Your Business Capabilities)
1. Can you invest the necessary resources to run a social network
properly? Can you afford the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars
it takes to properly create and staff this resource?
2. What is the role of marketing, sales, IT, customer service,
advertising, HR, etc.? Social networks often delve into all of these
departments and more. Make sure all of your teams are engaged,
enthused, and prepared.
3. While the potential ROI of a social network is proven, is this
the best investment of your time? If you don’t have a unique product or
your customers aren’t enthused (or your product isn’t any good), don’t
look to a social network to solve your problems.
4. What are your expectations – number of members, amount of
content, etc – on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis? Create little
benchmarks to ensure you do not go far off course.
5. Will your employees have their own voice on the network? Will
they use their full names? This transparency can be daunting, but it
can also provide high emotional buy-in from employees.
6. Is the correct employee in charge of the social network? This is often not the highest paid or the most experienced.
7. Which came first: customer need, company strategy, or cool
technology? If it’s anything besides customer need, reconsider