The Social Media Platforms are Social Media Ecosystems.
Regardless of which social media platform it is, there are several commonalities. The first being they are designed for the purposes of social interaction, bringing a large volume of people in, and keeping them active on the platform. Then they sell advertising to brands to their active and engaged user base. None of this is new, but understanding this is key. So, is understanding why each platform is different.
– Social media is quite powerful, they have cultivated an active engaged user base.
– They also gather massive volumes of data on those users which supports powerful targeting of ads.
– Through organic methods you can actively engage with your customers in real time. Improving the relationship they have with your brand/business.
Marketing through Social media has higher conversion rates than other marketing methods, making it more effective
– Through Social Media you can connect with and drive customers to your website for increased conversions.
– SEO does work through your social presence, by anchoring your brand to social media, and tying it into your website it will further improve the ability for your brand to be visible in search results.
– Through Social media you can gain greater insights into your customers. Through analytics provided through your business page, advertising, and any groups you manage you can better understand your customers.
Why it is bad
– Social Media can distract business owners, it can be a time sucker, it is designed to distract you and keep you engaged. As a business owner, it can create the illusion you are busy without any productivity.
– Social media ROI, although is excellent can distract people. It is the thousands of followers and likes, but no conversions situation. Having a focus on the end result can be both distracting, and powerful. What this means is that you can’t get upset if you don’t have a direct correlation between a post, and a sale. Or X likes = X revenue. But you can’t forget that either. Just don’t let vanity metrics distract you.
– You don’t have full control over how your message is presented. Social media will do its best to ensure that your messages are effective, but they balance that with their own goals. So as long as they have a say, and they have potentially competing goals, you will be operating under their rules.
– Mistakes through Social media can be a challenge to come back from, this means that people are always watching you, and it can go quite bad. There are lists published of the biggest brand social media blunders. You need to be very cautious about your message, and how it may be received before pushing out a message.
– Receiving reviews, and managing those reviews can be challenging. Having a lot of good reviews can be great, the platforms will boost you, but you aren’t in control of bad reviews. How you react to them is its own technical skill.
– There is a lot of noise on social media. And you need to compete with that. To compete with that noise you need to create your own. But you also need to balance the value of your time.
How you can succeed
– To succeed you need to commit. That means if you have a page, post content even if people don’t respond. If you have a group, plan to be talking to yourself for a while. But commit.
– Be human, have a brand that is worth engaging with, Southwest is an airline but it has a positive reputation. Coke, is a 100 year old soda company, but they created a social media strategy that invited engagement. Be fun, be human.
Spend as much time listening as you do talking. If not more time. You can’t make your customers happy if you aren’t listening to and responding to their needs.
– Pick one, maybe two networks. But focus. This is insanely important. If you are spread too thin you won’t get the results you want. Pick your network based upon our client avatar. But have a presence on all of them, tie that to your brand and consider the SEO. The more interconnected, through links, and keywords your brand is to your website, the more discoverable your webpage is going to be.
– Think about the power of the different communication methods, and your client avatar. More than likely they will respond positively to video content. It catches their eye. Take advantage of that.
– Don’t be afraid to spend money on ads, but also understand the power of organic content. In the end, the brand that can spend the most on advertising will win. That doesn’t mean you should spend all your money on ads though.
Social media is powerful. It has its place though, it should be leveraged to connect directly with customers, anchor your SEO strategy, and be a part of your overall strategy. Don’t fall prey to the many pitfalls of social media. Each platform has its benefits, and costs and should be used based upon your client avatar and business goals.
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