Challenges faced by businesses and organizations in utilizing the social media channels in Bahrain.
With the recent trend followed by hundreds of organizations in the kingdom to utilize the social media channels in order to promote their products, services and news, many of them have stopped in just having an existence on the selected channel, it is something similar to having a promotional billboard on a dark, narrow and under construction road in Jid El Haj area “I knew u won’t know where is this area, it’s right behind Burger land Budiya” where no one is passing by! And if they did , they won’t notice it’
The major challenges faced by the organizations varies depending on the nature of their industries, target audiences and skilled resources available to handle their online activities.
Here are few challenges faced by start ups and new to SMC businesses:
1- “meet Ahmed, my nephew and our SMC activities manager”
No, not anyone can do it!
Small businesses (specially start ups) depends on having a cost effective solution (mostly free) to handle this vital responsibility, they tend to delegate the task of creating the accounts and managing the posts by someone who is qualified based on number of followers they personally have for their personal accounts, they neglect the fact that there is a science behind it.
2- welcome to our page, first post “our vision and mission”
second post ” this is our new baby rabbit ”
third post “we signed two years contract with our new partner in Canada”
forth post “the burger at fuds sucks!
The lack of understanding the thin line between the professional use of any SMC (though it is a socializing tool) and the personal life of the individual who is responsible of managing these channels is almost neglected.
3- this is us,
this is our logo,
this is our contact details, this is our map (full stop)
what are you waiting for !? We have nothing else to say!?
It’s surprising how many organizations (some of them are huge) has little or no content at all on their channels, the art of creating proper content which is “postable” on a consistent base is not considered as important as just having and existence (so people won’t talk!!)
4- no, no time for SMC existence !
many avoid having any existence on any channel simply because they are convinced that they either (don’t need it or they don’t have time to manage it )
The fact is that there are many applications available today to assists businesses to have an automated system to manage their accounts, posts and also there are agencies who handle this task as an outsourced service.
(the question is , do we have enough specialized and qualified agencies in Bahrain to provide this service at reasonable price?)
5- it’s not for dummies!
despite the efforts of specialized interest groups such as social media club Bahrain chapter and TRA (the telecommunication regulatory authority) to promote the awareness about the SMC utilization in a professional, save and ethical manner though marketing campaigns, events and trainings, still many organizations still believes that IT department, e commerce team or the most junior member in their marketing team can handled their smc activities, or it’s for kids and trouble makers and not corporates !
Suitable trainings and professional certifications are sponsored and available in Bahrain via Tamkeen’s support, it might be a good time to target the marketing efforts to promote these qualifications more aggressively, by this there will be availability of skilled professionals, ready to perform the smc management role more effectively and efficiently than the ordinary sales representative.
6- it’s smc , then it should be free!
Businesses widely believe that there shouldn’t be any costs allocated to utilizing an smc which is a myth !
Yes , it might be more cost effective to use the smc in your PR and MKT activities comparing to expensive above the line options, but it’s never costless, at least not anymore
the minimum fair expected investment is time and efforts spent in training and educating yourself or your team on how to benefit and use the smc tools professionally.
7- what! Twitter or Facebook! No no we are away from the politics!
The saddening fact that smc is perceived to be stereotyped to share political views and many accounts (individuals and businesses) were negatively effected during the political unrest in last few years, businesses fear the fact that they won’t be able to control others
comments or posts , this might harm their image which they strive to keep as a Neutral Orgenisation or business.
8- smc is your new opportunities pink dream and not a complaints box nightmare!
Businesses which resist to go online have a major concern that their customers might post negative reviews on their official business/public pages, forgetting the fact that an angry customer will not spare any efforts in complaining somewhere else instead!
Isn’t it better that you know before anyone else or you act like (If I don’t see it , it doesn’t exists! ) ,
Maybe to to start with , its time to change the word complain to valuable feedback.
Saying that, Bahrain is one of the active countries in the region in terms of smc contribution and interactions yet major challenges are faced in order to spread the awareness about the effective use of these channels to enhance business operations such as PR, marketing, sales and customer service, this is a great potential for training providers, marketing consultants and special interest groups such as social media club Bahrain chapter to capitalize on this gap and offer their services like trainings and consultations to these businesses.
Shared by Sameera Ahmed
Guilty of underutilizing our business social media channel.