You’re sick of the whole topic. Enough, already.
Any recent trend is going to go through this stage of overkill. Millions become overnight “experts” and all of them have advice for you. Keep your wits about you; in time you will find what works best for you and your brand. Everybody using social media today is finding their way; nobody has all the answers. Relax, we’re all part of a grand journey.
You are afraid that social engagement can’t possibly scale.
Well, with great tools (ahem, I work for Desk.com) you will be amazed at how scalable social customer engagement — and social customer support — are becoming. With fewer team members, and less expenditure, small companies are building relationships and offering support equivalent to Zappos. It’s true. One of our clients, Bonobos, saw a revenue increase of 65% just by adding social customer service and support. There’s never been a better time to be delivering customer support as a small business. The world is your oyster–you are part of a revolution in social, global, mobile business. Rejoice.
People are likely to complain, and that freaks out your boss(es).
I am a library trustee in my small town. In every census year, we do a survey of our town library patrons. As that year approaches, the Library Director starts worrying. The results overall are always overwhelmingly positive, but there are always a dozen or so comments that complain about something or other–and frequently that complaint is unjustified. It makes librarians crazy, I can tell you, when someone says something like “I wish I could reserve a book.”
I listen to them rant: “How can they think that we don’t do reserves”? “Do we not have that in every brochure, on the website, and on the desk”?
But the truth is that these comments are ALWAYS HELPFUL, because they let the staff know that there is a person, in some category, who’s not understanding something that’s important to us. Over the years, I have (almost) convinced the staff to think of these comments as a gift. We use that information to be better, and that’s what complaints permit us to do. If you can talk yourself out of defensiveness, you will find complaints easier to take, and you can lay off the Prozac on census years.
I’m not even sure I’m doing it right….
What can I say — I feel your pain. I always feel like I don’t know enough. It’s easy to start listening to what Loretta LaRoche calls “the committee in your head.” That committee certainly has doubts that you know what you’re doing. They also have something to say about how you are raising your children, what you’re eating, and whether you’re doing anything else right, either. Learn to talk out loud to them — shout them down, as it were. It can be kind of fun, unless other people can hear you, so watch out for that.
What I’m doing never matches the experts’ advice.
Sometimes in the same day, I’ll see several completely different opinions about a social media topic (how many times a day to tweet, when during the day to post to Facebook, how many times a week to have a blog post, how to measure ROI…). The experts may know a lot, and they may be right most of the time, but you have an advantage over them because it’s you who are on the front lines of social for your business. If you work for yourself or someone else, the steps are the same: gather ideas, opinions, and weigh the advice. Then do it. Then measure the results. Rinse and repeat. The analysis of success might not be as definitive as a chemistry experiment, but then again, the variables are entirely different. Something else that makes me feel more confident is looking at the advice as to what most often is “typical” advice, and what is “outlier” advice. At first, you might want to stick with the typical, the voice of the crowd. Then wade in deeper and try some more radical suggestions.
These are my favorite social media blogs. They may help you, but remember– trust yourself and your knowledge of your business. Then take what you will from the “experts.”
- Desk.com Participating in Live Webinar from Social Media Today: Social Media as a Small Business Tool
- In the Trenches: The Operational Side of Social Media
- Social Media and Customer Service: Listening to Your Customers Matters
- Social Media Blogs: Six Favorite Personalities
- Social Media Influence: How To Be Awesome on Social News