Taking The Facebook/Twitter Plunge

In his recap of BarCampBankBC2, Tim McAlpine shares this comment from one of the participants:

“Until we can say that creating compelling content is one of our core competencies, we are staying away from having a presence on Twitter and Facebook.”

I’d like to try to convince that participant that this is the wrong criteria for determining whether or not to take the plunge into Twitter or Facebook.

First, let’s assume for argument’s sake that his firm doesn’t currently have a “core competency” for creating compelling content. Why would his firm create that capability now? Simply to have a Twitter or Facebook presence?

In other words, why would his firm invest in creating a content creating core competency now, if it hasn’t already done so?

Second, let’s assume for argument’s sake that his firm has already decided that it needs a content creating competency. How will it measure this competency and determine that it has reached the level of core competency?

In other words, how will his firm know it has a sufficient content-creating-competency for creating a Twitter or Facebook presence?

Third, let’s assume for argument’s sake that his firm can measure that competency. How long is it going to take for the firm to build that competency?

In other words, does his firm really want to wait a year, two, or more before having a Facebook or Twitter presence?

So what should his firm’s criteria be for determining when to take the plunge into Facebook or Twitter? The firm must first answer:

  • Which customers does it want to strengthen its relationships with, and are Twitter and Facebook viable mechanisms for doing so?
  • Which prospects does it want to reach, and are Twitter and Facebook viable mechanisms for doing so?
  • If the desired customers/prospects are already using Twitter and Facebook, why are they using them, and what does that mean to the firm (i.e., I’m questioning whether or not Twitter/Facebook users use those tools for great content)?
  • If the desired customers/prospects aren’t already using Twitter and Facebook — but those tools are determined to be good channels for developing and strengthening relationships with them — how can the firm drive those customers/prospects to use the tools?

There are more questions to address, but you get the gist. With no strategy in place for using Facebook and Twitter, building a competency for creating content for the channels is putting the cart before the horse.

In other words, waiting to take the Facebook/Twitter plunge until you have a core competency in creating content is like waiting to have kids until you become a good parent.

It doesn’t work that way.

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