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Say no to bad social media

Elaine Fleming

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I'm about to advise a client that social media is a bad idea.

That's maybe not expected from someone who manages social media communities and develops online strategies as a career. But my job is about managing brands and helping them grow via a tailored approach that suits them - and social media is most definitely not the right approach for everyone. Done well, it can take a business from being good, to great. Done badly, it can seriously devalue a brand.

I'm currently project managing brand development for a technical business. Keen to highlight they have their finger on the pulse, they wanted to link Twitter and Facebook accounts to their website. However, after a chat about post content, frequency and response times, it became apparent the client was only going to have occasional time to devote to their upkeep.

This is when I firmly believe you should say no to social media. We work with organisations devising strategies to ensure content is relevant, timely and appropriate - and really offers something extra to their target market. We take the lion's share of the load but the clients' input is still essential.

In all communications a brand needs to convey it's reliable and trustworthy, no matter what their business. A sloppy and dated Twitter feed or a Facebook page without interesting and relevant content implies they are not totally on the ball. If a social media profile has slipped, or is mediocre at best, what does that say about the rest of the business?

Ultimately, if you can't do social media well, don't do it at all.