Social Media is free and a fantastic way of improving the SEO of your website.

It’s cutting edge.

It puts you in front of a whole new audience.

It puts you “out there” and it’s free!

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to be on all social channels.

Are you a B2B firm? Do you need to be in Instagram?

Some retailers don’t need to be in LinkedIn. And yes, Facebook has the biggest user base but that doesn’t make it the social-silver-bullet that is the answer to everything.

I constantly come across firms that make a feeble attempt at social media and to be frank, are on far too many channels. As such they do social media very badly. If they’d taken all that effort from all those various channels and applied it into one channel, who knows how effective they could be?!

One particular client I was dealing with was on six social media platforms, feebly attempting to be “social”. If they’d taken that same amount of effort and applied it to a single channel that suited both them and their clients, they would have much more traction.

So, before you leap into being social and jumping on to every platform you can, consider the following FIVE questions:

Do you have the capability and/or capacity to manage all the platforms you want to be on?

Doing social media takes time and effort to do well. Back in the day many firms didn’t know how to best manage it. It was often given to the receptionist, or one person that had a vague understanding of the platform.

Today’s most successful firms, that have mastered the art of content marketing, know that social media is an effective tactic that is a part of a robust marketing plan. You wouldn’t do an average-to-crap job of your newspaper advertising. Why put up with bad social media?

For many firms, social media is a great “window” to the business. You wouldn’t want to give that responsibility to just anyone. It’s no longer a nice-to-have. For some, it’s an essential marketing and branding tool that requires rigor, commitment, strategy and thought.

Do you understand how your platform of choice works?

Video suits some channels. Do you know what sort of posts to push? Are you syndicating content between your social platforms and your website? Platforms are constantly being updated. Regardless of which one you’re using, ensure that you’re up to speed with their latest changes and updates.

Are you on the right platform(s)?

Where are your current/potential clients? What social media channels do they use? Do you know how they use them? It’s not about being on more platforms, it’s about being on less platforms, understanding what you’re doing and doing it really well. As Tom Peters says: “if not excellent then what?”

Who is going to be involved with your social media?

Are you going to be outsourcing it? Do they know your business? Do you have the culture/rules that allows anyone to post social? Do you know what’s going out on behalf of your company? What about your staff’s personal life on social media? If someone says something controversial, is there a conflict? Remember, social media isn’t an independent process, it’s an integral part of your marketing tactics.

How are you going to measure it?

One of the great things about social media is that you can measure it. Do you know what to look for? How are you going to measure effectiveness and success? Are you using any social tools, for measurement?

Social Media has changed the lives of us all, both professionally and personally. It’s changed from being “that silly thing kids do” to a serious channel that is a great source of business development and engagement, for staff, clients and stakeholders. Doing an “ok job” of it isn’t good enough. Would you get an “ok” babysitter for your kids? Done well, social media can do wonderous things for your company, brand and reputation.