Does Social Media Really Work?
Every day it seems there’s a new social network in town. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn—which one should you be using? Does social media even work? First, let’s define what “work” really means when it comes to social media. If you think social media might be good for your business, here’s what you need to know:
1. Start with the goals first or be prepared to get disappointed. No clear goals=no clear success. Define clear goals. Is brand awareness your goal? Measure reach, not fans and followers. Are conversions on your website your goal? Measure conversions from social media with Google Analytics. Once you know what you want to measure on each platform, find the right tool to help you get to the numbers you need.
2. Do you have a content strategy or are you just coming up with things to post? Social media only works if you do it right. Too many marketing professionals use social media for promotions and events. Since people don’t care about ads or promotional messages, they ignore them and there’s low to no engagement. This old school way of using social media drives marketers crazy. Instead, come up with ways to provide value to your audience, such as answering their questions, providing resources they won’t find anywhere else, etc,.
3. It’s not just about you. Social media is a two-way dialogue. With the visual aspect of the web, you can do more to show your business online than you can in traditional marketing. People like to be entertained on social media, so have fun with them! Have you seen the $1 shave club Youtube ad? It’s funny but also gets the point across. Focus on your audience’s needs and give them what they want. They will remember you and come to you when they need you.
4. You won’t achieve success overnight. Unless of course, you come up with a super viral video that gets million views overnight (which can happen). Most likely, it will take time to build up your audience. Try to identify where they are and connect with them there. Provide good content on a regular basis and you will build up a good group of advocates that will do the marketing for you. Just be patient and consistent in your efforts and you’ll being to see social media working for you too.