But how much time should your business devote to creating an online presence in the first place? Bryan Lukas, professor of marketing at Alliance Manchester Business School, says there is no simple equation to how much effort you should put in. He highlights the 2012 case of the Dollar Shave Club, whose website crashed after receiving 12,000 orders in 48 hours following a tongue-in-cheek YouTube video by co-founder and CEO Michael Dubin.
“That is considered a classic example of relatively limited effort with a huge impact, far more than could have been expected from any traditional form of advertising,” says Lukas. “Compare that to efforts where companies are blogging and working their social media channels every day, and not much is happening: there is no clear evidence that effort equals output.”
Lukas does believe that companies that post on social media seem more credible to their audience – and will get shares if the content is “cool, funny, authentic and genuine”. But, along with the drain on your time and resources, another downside to stepping up presence on social media is that it entails a loss of control: negative comments on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram can be difficult to recover from.