QUICKLY, CORRECTLY OR CHEAPLY, CHOOSE ANY TWO

by Paula on February 8, 2011

There is a notepad in our home office with the words “You can have it done quickly, correctly or cheaply, choose any 2″. I have often thought through these connotations and while it’s there to make you laugh, it’s actually very insightful.

Want it quickly and cheaply? It’s not going to offer much in the way of quality.

Want it Correct and Cheap? Can be done, but will take time. The person doing it may need more time to get it right, and it might not be their priority if the rewards aren’t right.

– Want it Quickly and Correct? It’s probably going to cost you!

This notepad was given to my husband and is very apt for software development, but does it apply to Social Media?

Without doubt people want to find shortcuts and get the best results for the least outlay in time and money, but what are the effect of those decisions?

Cheaply

I’m not referring to the costs of someone like myself or a marketing agency but rather the other ‘cheap’ options for using Social Media. A number of times I’ve seen a first class website, glossy brochures, and poor, sloppy Social Media sites. Why? Because a company knows they should get involved in Social Media, carry out no analysis of what’s appropriate for their company, and remember that “Nigel’s son is always on Facebook” so get him to do it. What the company ends up with is something that does not reflect the personality or branding of the business but it ticks the box of “being on Facebook”. To what detriment though? These companies don’t realise that there are more and more people checking a company’s social networks before their website, and if what they see is shoddy, misspelt and of low quality, will they actually look any further…?

Quickly

Speed is always of the essence. Business people are busy and haven’t got the time to ‘play’ on Social Media so they either don’t do it at all, and miss out on the opportunities available to them, or they try and do it quick. Get the networks up and running asap, not worry too much about how they look, do a few posts now and again to advertise, but not really thinking through what their audience might be interested in hearing about. All done, that didn’t take much time did it? But what message is that giving out? If you are going to really utilise this chance to engage with your clients, hear what they’re saying and give something back, it’s going to take time – lots of it – and whether this is you, or someone doing it for you, this time and attention will be needed on an on-going basis to see the results.

Correctly

How can you get it wrong? Social Media is just about having a Facebook site isn’t it? While it may be that having a Facebook page would be great for your business, it also may be totally inappropriate and hitting the wrong audience. If you are going to do Social Media you need to get it right. Learn yourself or talk to someone. Think about your business goals, your current clients, your desired clients, your product or service, and only then think about the Social Networks. Some will apply, some won’t. Better to do a few sites well than have a un-loved effort on every site going. When you have the site you need to put thought into the message you want to send out and how you will achieve the goals. Quality effort, quality input and quality output and you will see quality results. Anything less and you risk doing more harm than good.

So this humorous comment is actually food for thought. There’s rarely an easy way to doing things successfully unless you have big money to throw at it. Far better to take a responsible and considered approach to Social Media, the same as you would to other important business activity, and then, given the time, attention and appropriate funding you can have a social presence that brings you closer to your clients and gives your business the edge.

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