We were asked by a prospect to describe the opportunities and challenges of social media. Rather than write the latest book about it, we came up with these 10 points. What do you think? Did we miss anything?
Social media allows an organization to tell its story directly to audiences without having to go through the filter of the media;
The real value of social media – customer service – means the public can get answers to questions quickly and efficiently, potentially increasing a brand’s reputation;
Social media enables the sharing of video and photos – in addition to text – to provide a better story to a public that does not have time to read;
With mainstream media consumption decreasing as more people head to social media, establishing a presence enables an organization to reach people where and how they want to receive information;
As mobile devices and applications become even more popular, social media enables organizations to offer information where and when consumers want it.
While “free” to set up, the cost of social media is in the manpower of monitoring and responding to questions/comments which can become time-consuming when done properly;
By definition, social media is two-way communication, so organizations not accustomed to listening to and responding to criticism sometimes have a difficult time accepting social media;
Opponents and critics have a ready-made venue for their complaints with social media, so monitoring and responding requires the expertise of someone trained to deal with crisis PR and communications;
Some organizations want a defined return on investment (ROI) for their use of social media, but such a measure is difficult to gauge;
With social media, complete control of the message is not in the hands of the organization as it is with one-way communications such as advertising.