Just back from vacation, which means I haven’t posted to the blog in over a week (a major blog no-no, but more on that later).
The time between posts, and my growing concern that I needed to get something fresh on the blog brought to mind a truism about social media that often gets overlooked: Social media isn’t free.
Obviously, signing up for the services (Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, etc) costs nothing. But you have to devote time, thought, and energy to keep your social media outlet active. Leave fans languishing and they’ll go away–leave the wrong fans languishing, and they’ll go away mad.
They key to engagement is that it works both ways. You will have to make content that fans want to interact with on an ongoing basis. That takes time. If your business is complex or your corporate policies require legal or departmental oversight, the time-demands of your social media content efforts efforts grow with each pair of eyes that must review it.
And time, as we know, is money.
I spoke recently with a small business owner who’d opted out of a Facebook presence. He told me that the time he spent creating posts and answering fan questions was simply better spent reaching out in person to potential clients. I admired his willingness to go against the F-book tide, though I did recommend he consider other methods (a solid blog, for instance) for showcasing his expertise within his field.
The trick to social media is having a plan. Because signing up is free…but keeping things fresh and interesting isn’t.