Social media shouldn’t be a marketing burden or afterthought

I’ll admit that I haven’t naturally taken to social media — unlike many of the people of my generation who are hooked to their Twitter feeds and Facebook pages 24/7. I’ve been known to go weeks without updating my status, or days without checking my personal email.

Because I don’t use a lot of social media in my personal life, it was a little bit of an adjustment to start using it for marketing the content that I create at work. Bit-by-bit, however, I’m really seeing the value. It’s a good way to connect to our readers, get the pulse of the market and stay on top of what people are talking about.

Put social media in the forefront

My story is the opposite of the company Brownie Brittle, which is the subject of this months feature story. This West Palm Beach, Florida, business uses social media first, creating a nation of devoted fans and brand loyal advocates.

For them, social media isn’t something the company has to do. It’s not an afterthought, but a first-thought.

And as a result, Brownie Brittle’s Facebook page has more than 300,000 likes. The business has 1,550 Twitter followers and a scan of its feed shows people raving about the product.

Even the company’s website puts social media first. About one-third of the home page is devoted to featured fan photos, a link to its Facebook page and a stream of its Twitter feed.

We can’t all be Brownie Brittle, but I do think we can take some lessons from their attitude.

Be in the same room

One of the most interesting things Brownie Brittle CEO and founder Shelia G. Mains says is that they think of social media like someone is walking into a room and speaking directly to you. Therefore, you always must respond, whether they are giving you a positive or negative comment.

I’ve honestly never thought of it that way, but it makes a lot of sense. Social media is very conversational by nature. You want to have fun with it, and be a little more informal with the writing.

You want to relate to your followers lives, just like you want to connect in good conversation.

Executive the strategy with the right resources

A digital strategy that includes social media is hard to think about with the many other tasks that can seem more pressing. And even if you have the strategy, it can be difficult to execute that strategy properly, especially if you’re lacking employee buy-in or don’t have adequate resources.

It’s not, however, an impossible task. If this is something you can see helping your company, you just have to make it a priority like Brownie Brittle did.