Given all the enthusiasm about social media, a lot of companies are scrambling to climb on the bandwagon.
Far too often, however, companies are jumping into social media without a strategic plan or, for that matter, clear reasons about why they want to do social media and what they hope to get out of it.
Another element missing from the social media mix is a healthy amount of skepticism. Being skeptical about social media isn’t trendy given all the buzz and excitement. No one wants to be seen as a wallflower when there’s a raging party happening.
But healthy skepticism should be something that companies should make an integral part of any social media strategy. It ensures that the decisions being contemplated are met with constructive criticism, feedback or even pushback.
Rather than accept the proposed chartered course, companies must scrutinize whether doing social media makes sense in helping to accomplish strategic goals.
Unfortunately, this kind of resistance probably doesn’t happen enough because we’re still at a stage where social media is a new phenomena and being involved can be more of an imperative than taking the time to get it right.
When companies are healthily skeptical about embracing social media, it is often seen as a bad thing because it suggests the company isn’t forward-thinking or willing to get engaged.
The reality is that while many companies, particularly consumer-facing ones, should be actively exploring the use of social media, there’s no penalty for taking the time to make sure it is the right fit.
At the end of the day, it could mean that companies take a modest approach to social media or maybe not do social media for the time being.
By being healthy skeptical, companies can improve their chances of taking the best first step forward as opposed to flying madly off in all directions, which is usually a formula for failure.