This week Xconomy unveiled their Facebook page. The big news organizations, like New York Times, have already been on Facebook for some time. So what does this mean for small organizations, like early-stage biotech companies, do you need a Facebook page?
The cons are that it does require content, management and monitoring. The pros are that Facebook and to a certain extent Twitter are becoming the major sites where people get and share their info — more so now than Wikipedia (which is a topic for another post).
Much has been made of elaborate social media campaigns that many smaller organizations may feel intimidated by setting up a Facebook page or a Twitter account. You don’t need a large marketing push to have these things. In fact, starting out with a lot of hype without sustainability will hurt the cause in the long run.
Instead, smaller companies should put together a social media guideline, so everyone knows what can and cannot be posted and who will post it. Then, they should create their Facebook page and Twitter account and build it as it goes — there is nothing wrong with slow and steady.
The great thing about social media is that it opens up a direct channel to provide information – one that the audience is already saying that they want. It is a complimentary process to traditional PR and “getting ink,” which is still essential to both extend your reach and provide third-party validation. However, once the audience comes to you and connects in the way they want to stay informed (Facebook, Twitter, email newsletter – yes this is still a valid outreach device), you have an opportunity to in the future reach them directly with your news – after all PR is about building relationships – and that is where the true ROI can be found.