As I drove up my long driveway this evening and winced, I realized that many companies’ social media marketing strategies remind me of my lawn. (What? you ask? Let me explain…)
I have a relatively large front yard, and friends keep telling me I should just hire a lawn service. My thought: sure, I’m very busy, but c’mon, I can mow my own lawn, for heavens sake! I think it’s my dad’s voice screaming in my head: “Why would I pay someone to do what I am fully capable of doing myself?” It is a sentiment to which any child of a military man or any small business owner can relate.
The result of that thinking? Well… let’s just say I’m laying low, as I’m sure my neighbors (rightfully) roll their eyes at the eye-sore of a meadow my yard has become because I simply have not had time to address it. Sort of like the eye roll I (and customers) experience when I see the blogs (or Facebook or Twitter accounts) of companies who asked for advice from a consultant or, perhaps, read a few articles, then said: “for heaven’s sake! I can do that myself!”
Of course they can! Just like I can mow my own lawn. But, do they have time to do it properly? Or are they announcing their social media presence to the world with great enthusiasm, then getting caught up in the more important tasks of their day-to-day business and letting their P.R./marketing efforts go to pasture? Too often, the latter. Leaving an abandoned Facebook fan page or a blog that hasn’t been updated in several weeks… meaning they are not only forgotten but, in this age of instant-information and constant communications, perhaps also have lost some credibility with their fans or followers.
If you can’t stay abreast of social media or your public relations outreach, and you won’t get help to assist you in doing so, then my best advice is to avoid it altogether. Not a wise business strategy, given the increasingly competitive marketplace and the importance of having a social media presence to communicate with discerning consumers, but much wiser than appearing lazy or inattentive. Of course, those perceptions are clearly not true, as small business owners have roughly a gazillion things to address daily. But, well: appearances are everything.
So, lest you think I’m judging, I will openly admit that I’ve neither hired a lawn service nor hauled the mower out of the shed, as I still convince myself that “I can do it!” (to the chagrin of my poor neighbors). Business, however, is business. So, were I trying to interest buyers in an effort to sell my house? Well, then, let’s just say I’d have the lawn service on speed dial. Because paying to communicate a good impression is far less expensive than trying to erase a bad one.