Social media programs are important to many high profile companies. But, if a company can't commit resources to keeping their social media accounts updated and supplied with assets that are tied to sales, then those accounts can easily become detrimental. It's the same as having a bad website that's out of date; if something represents your company poorly, then it makes it less likely that a customer will commit to buying from you. One of our responsibilities to clients is to advise them on overall strategy, and it almost always includes questions about social media. It's not unusual for us to tell some of our client not to bother with microblogging sites like Twitter if they can't keep their accounts up to date, which is sometimes a shock to them. But basically, there isn't much benefit to your image in having a Twitter account with 25 tweets over the span of a year. That being said, this mostly applies to smaller businesses that might not have the right profile or have much that's very interesting to put out there, like a small law firm or a startup mining company, for example. When they do have something they want to share, doing it through the website or via the company email list, is probably a better way to go.

The best way to approach social media involves planning and allocation of resources. This means integrating social media into your business plan, and in many cases, assigning marketing budgets and time resources to them just like you would with your print or outdoor advertising. It doesn't have to be a lot of money either. Planning your social media efforts strategically means the ability to do a lot of cool things for Facebook and Twitter such as video tutorials, social media events like Google Hangouts or UStreams, and custom Facebook apps. For example, let's say your company is a microbrewery, you could plan for a series of videos about pairing beers with food, stream video feeds from tasting events, and create a custom app that shows customers the nearest shop carrying your beers.

Plan your social media resources properly, and you can do some really creative, and cost-effective things!

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