Many business people are still skeptical about the benefits of social media. Some people think it’s a fad, while others are skeptical. This is because marketers keep telling them that social media is a good idea.
It seems presumptuous to believe that social media is hurting your business if you don’t use it.
Social media is just that. It’s’media. It is not something that should be feared or seen as a nuisance. I am neither in awe nor cynical of social media. It’s a communication tool and an avenue to publish content.
How does social media change marketing?
It simply gives an honest picture about a company’s overall strategy, and its perception of value. It’s not revealing low value, but it is showcasing firms with high value.
This is revealing weaknesses in marketing direction as well as how companies view and understand customers. It’s obvious that people don’t have anything to share. Conversely, people who are engaged are more likely to be able to contribute.
This means that social media isn’t something you can just jump on. Like all successful communication, it requires thought, planning, and execution with clear outcomes.
Avoid Experts & Use Common Sense
Many people in marketing call themselves experts in social media. Many claim to have strategies that you can’t ignore and will be left as the dinosaur in your industry. Social media is just another way to communicate value to your audience.
Social media is a great alternative to traditional marketing like direct mail. It allows you to communicate in real-time and your audience can respond and interact with it, opening up a dialogue with you market.
It’s easy to set up a social media account, but it can be difficult to know how to use it to your advantage. It is important to not be too focused on technology. Instead, think about content and value. This is what it means
Put yourself in the shoes of your customers
Think about the value that you can offer
Map your content
Social media should be part of your overall marketing strategy, not as a standalone activity.
Millions of people have at least one account on social media. This indicates that there is a large potential revenue stream to be tapped. It all boils down to how effective your message is received by those who matter. Are you speaking to buyers, or people who have the potential to influence buyers?
This is not a major hurdle in the world of business-to consumer, but it can be in the space of business-to business. There are many potential obstacles, including time and corporate policy regarding access to the social media. It also depends on whether your buyer uses the social media.
These constraints can help you to develop your strategy, rather than blindly trusting.
How to approach social media
Social media isn’t revolutionary by itself. It’s just another way to connect and communicate with your audience. Social media is free and you can reach hundreds of thousands of people. This is what makes it revolutionary.
It is not about how many followers you have, or how many updates can you post in one day. You should be focusing on how to use these systems to create value for the people you want.
You can be selective, there are no rules
Some people still believe that social media is the best strategy for getting people to join your network and that it’s good etiquette to respond to every friend request or follower. This strategy is best if you are looking for information overload.
There are no rules. If you don’t get any value out of a connection, it is best to lose it. Social media’s real value lies in the quality of your interactions and connections. Reciprocal value will make connections into lasting relationships.
Do not engage in a Timeline War
Social media platforms often use a timeline to display user inputs. This is similar to how email is prioritized in your inbox based on the date it was sent and/or received. It seems obvious that updating your status is essential to keep yourself ‘top-of-mind’ and ‘top in the pile’.
This expectation is absurd. Quality and consistency are more important than quantity. They will stop listening if you bombard them with low-quality content.
To tweet or not to tweet?
Many professionals and businesses have made the right decision to not engage on social media. It doesn’t matter if everyone else is doing it, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. It is important to do a thorough assessment of your situation, and then ask yourself what benefits you will get. What value will it bring to your customers and target audience?
It is important to know if your buyers are using social media. Is it possible for them to receive your message via social media?
Some in marketing claim that if your not involved in it, you will be left behind. This is a false assumption. There are many businesses who offer great value and aren’t currently using social media.
There is no right or wrong. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you otherwise. It’s a chance to interact with an audience. It’s a chance to engage with an audience.
What you need to do
As with all marketing activities, if it is going to bring you return value, it must have a purpose and be accountable. These key points apply to all social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.
1. Determine Your Purpose
Understanding your audience and determining what value you can offer them is key to determining your purpose. You can’t hold yourself accountable if you don’t know your purpose.
You could be interested in the following types of content:
Technical: System or operational status that notifies of downtime, changes, etc. E.g. Airlines providing updates on flight cancellations
Time-related: traffic, weather, programming, etc.
Thought leadership: Tips, advice, thought-provoking perspectives, etc.
News: Industry developments, current work, if relevant etc.
Content should be about adding value and not selling.
2. Plan Content In Advance
Once you have determined your purpose, you can begin to map out your content. You can then create a series of updates on a variety of topics and broadcast them regularly. A few brief updates per day is better than a lot of useless drivel. Although it may seem counterintuitive to the way these platforms are designed to work with spontaneity, if you’re looking to create real value, there is nothing wrong in planning content.
Social media should not be more than 15 minutes per day. You already have many distractions, such as email, so don’t let social media consume too much of your time. You can avoid wasting your time by planning your content.
Social media should not be used in isolation of other communication methods. Consider how it can complement your marketing efforts.
3. Add some accountability
You are what you tweet, update and post. Your team must know what you are looking for and what is acceptable content. This includes syndicated content that is republished from third-party content.
You can only publish three outcomes to any content: positive, neutral or negative. It can either support and build brand value or do nothing. At worst, it could be contradictory or eroding.
Be clear about your purpose and keep the guidelines simple.
Do not become a slave of any technology. Social media can be used for your customer’s benefit just like any other form of communication. Social media should be part of your marketing strategy and be accountable.
It is not a numbers game. It is not enough to have a lot of followers, friends, connections, or updates. If the value you offer is not relevant to your followers, what’s the point in having thousands?
This is the same for trying to connect or follow everyone and everything with a shotgun approach. This type of behavior creates noise that can lead to the loss of valuable messages and content.