Social media is a lot like a car: it's easy to buy, but harder to maintain. Just as many of us buy a new car, only to neglect the day-to-day maintenance that will keep it running smoothly for years to come, many individuals and businesses buy into social media but fail to do what's necessary to make the most of the investment.
Case in point: Britney Spears. The pop singer has more than 4m fans on her Facebook Page, making her one of the 50 most popular musicians on Facebook. But as detailed by Wired, the people running her Facebook Page are apparently "asleep at the switch."
That's because a quick look at the more than 10,000 photos in the Photos from Others section of Spears' Facebook Page reveals that Spears' page has become a popular target for individuals looking to advertise a certain kind of NSFW 'service'.
As Wired notes, the "regularly-updated, Britney Spears-controlled official Facebook page, which presumably attracts lots of her young fan base, is only a couple of clicks away from hardcore advertisement." In other words, despite the fact that somebody is taking the time to update Spears' Facebook Page, basic things, like moderating associated user-generated content, aren't being left undone.
Why? Two words: cruise control. Even though a Facebook Page with 4m fans is a valuable asset, it's easy to take for granted the fact that it's an asset. And so instead of managing it like an investment, it gets treated like a car on cruise control.
Wired estimates that it would take the people managing Britney's Facebook Page approximately five minutes per day to deal with the new NSFW photos that are being added to Spears' Page. While it may be difficult to quantify what Spears is 'losing' by not removing the photos, five minutes is obviously not a lot of time and it doesn't take much more than common sense to see the wisdom in making sure this gets done.
As social media becomes more important to individuals and companies, and as more of those individuals and companies find ways to generate real ROI from their social media assets, making sure that the people involved in maintaining a social media presence are on top of things will be crucial.