Is Social Media A Waste of Time For Your Business?
The social media phenomenon has managed to rocket past “fad” status but businesses who are struggling to get satisfying results are frustrated, often left confused if the medium is right for them. With 91per cent of online adults using social media regularly, there is a shocking virus spreading amongst upper management everywhere that has impaired their better judgment. It’s called nostrategitis, derived from the English words, “no” and “strategy”.
Since when has any successful business gone into a new venture without a real strategy in place? Despite this golden rule of business, many still stumble with delusional and convoluted attempts to use social media sites like Twitter and Facebook with no strategy in place.
So where is the disconnect between businesses and successful social media strategies?
Specific, Actionable Goals Are Needed
If the extent of the company plan is to have a random staff member post on Facebook and Twitter once a day with a dash of occasional blogging, time is only being wasted. The plan needs to have clear, specific goals that connect to important metrics within your overall sales funnel. Although measuring sales can be more difficult, there are some extremely important measurements you need to factor in.
Is your web traffic increasing?
Are there more subscribers on your email list?
How many people are seeing your social media posts? (number of impressions)
How many people are engaging with your social media posts?
These are just a few of the important metrics that you need to be measuring to determine the ROI of your social media efforts. Frustration from failure with social marketing always comes back to a lack of integration into existing processes.
Use Analytics to Learn More about Your Audience
There are several ways to measure and monitor the demographics of your audiences online. This type of data was extremely expensive to attain merely 5-10 years ago but now businesses can access it for next to nothing.
Not only can you monitor the different areas of your audience, you can target content and posts to specific genders, age groups, relationship status, geographical areas and more. Things are only just getting started and features will only get more targeted as they continue to develop over time.
Blogging is Imperative to Social Media Success
The importance of blogging is one of the first strategies that meet resistance, confusion or misunderstanding when running up the corporate ladder. This is a tough pill to swallow for some but the bullet can no longer be dodged: blogs are not for sales pitches.
Customers buy things because they have problems. The things they buy offer them solutions. When a customer seeks out solutions, they don’t always know what that solution is going to be prior to seeking it out.
Blogging allows you to position yourself as the solution your customer seeks before they have found your product. If your company offers financial services, you would want to blog about topics like current trends and investment-related advice. Things that are common knowledge within an industry can be completely foreign to potential prospects and many forget this when thinking of blog topics.
Ask yourself questions like:
How can I build trust and loyalty with my blog content?
What questions do new and potential customers always ask?
What problems are my customers trying to solve?
Dull content comes off as spammy through social media and yields no results. Aside from the many SEO benefits (Search Engine Optimization) of regular blogging, it’s one of few reasons any customer or prospect will keep visiting your website. The more people that visit your website the higher Google ranks your site, not to mention the top of mind awareness you are creating.
Some Social Networks Are A Waste Of Time
Let’s not sugar coat it – some networks really are a waste of time. That said, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and this is truly the case with social media. It’s key to understand where your customers are spending their time online and position yourself accordingly.
LinkedIn has proven to be four times more effective for B2B than Facebook and Twitter but provides fewer benefits to those in B2C. These are things your team needs to be aware of when tackling your social media strategy or else you will be wasting resources that could have been allocated elsewhere.
If there is no one on the team that can put in the time to be engaging with potential leads, customers and prospects, you need to hire someone else to do it.
To give you some perspective on missed opportunities, 70 per cent of brands are currently ignoring complaints on Twitter while 83 per cent of people who complained and got a response were thrilled with the business making some sort of visible effort. If you aren’t willing to do find and connect with your target market online, any other effort is wasted.
Social media has permanently changed marketing because it has changed the way people consume information. Sadly, the days of saturating blatant advertisements providing a return are over as customers embrace a more direct connection to brands and companies. Although it might be easy to see how daunting this can become, keeping businesses more accountable gives the ones with truly great products and services the visibility and credit they deserve.
Perhaps that is a change worth embracing after all.
Melonie Dodaro, founder of Top Dog Social Media helps business owners, sales teams and professionals to use social media marketing to boost their visibility; attract new customers and increase their revenue. Dubbed by the media as Canada’s No. 1 LinkedIn expert and social media strategist, she’s also a highly sought after social media speaker and trainer. Grab her free special report called The New Rules of Marketing at http://TopDogSocialMedia.com.