There was a very interesting article that popped up in my inbox recently regarding a Facebook scam. The scammers had copied the Facebook page of a legitimate business and were offering promotions in return for personal details.
I spent some time working for WAScamNet in Consumer Protection here in Western Australia (who by the way, do a wonderful job of helping people to avoid scams or deal with being scammed), so nothing in the article about the scam itself was particularly remarkable to me. However one statement struck a chord. It was a quote from a social media educator who made the comment “fake business pages are a warning to business owners to not run their social media accounts half-heartedly. If you’re not online communicating with customers each day, a space opens up for scammers to do it for you“.
Many not for profit organisations (and businesses for that matter) have social media accounts, all started with the best of intentions, but many of which are sadly underutilised. Social media is all about engagement – it’s a way to build a relationship with clients and other stakeholders. And just like every other relationship it takes work. Different social media platforms require different levels of activity to keep people interested and therefore to maximise the benefit to your organisation as well as your clients. Choosing the right platform needs to take into account your organisational capacity to regularly post information, respond to others and monitor the account for any misuse.
This article in fact highlighted another reason to utilise your social media accounts regularly and effectively. “If you’ve got a lot of people who ‘Like’ a Facebook page, but pretty low regular engagement, that inactivity really opens up the question of ‘Cost of Inaction’. You have to ask why a scammer is doing a better job of [engaging with] customers than you are. Making a page and not then doing anything with it is part of the problem.”
If you have a social media account that is languishing, my advice is to look at ways to quickly ramp up your usage or think about closing it down. Half-hearted social media is not going to engage anyone.