Social Media is hard work. Don’t let anyone tell you differently! It is not a quick fix, it isn’t a ‘build it and they will come’ strategy, and it is unlikely to magically build your business overnight.
At one time businesses that spent the most on traditional advertising and had the best ads ruled the day. Advertising still has an important role to play in building your brand, but more and more advertising money is moving online. Not all of it, but a lot of it! And, social media, over time, will ensure that any dollars spent on ads are wasted if you don’t deliver on your promises.
Social media is word-of-mouth advertising on steroids, and it can be your best friend or worst enemy.
And it doesn’t matter whether you’re in the social media game or not for social media to have a serious impact on your business. For those who deliver on their promises this is good news. For those businesses that don’t deliver on their promises, be prepared for a serious wake up call!
But getting back to the main point – social media is not a quick fix. It requires a long term commitment, time and work if a business is to benefit from social media. And before even signing up for an account, one needs to understand how a particular social network can work for their business, and what’s involved in making it work.
In particular, here are 5 actions one must pay attention to when managing their business social media account(s):
- Ensure your business profile(s) are complete and that images used are professional quality.
- Share (regularly) content that is helpful, interesting and/or valuable to your audience, as appropriate for the specific network.
- Engage with those who comment on what you have shared – sometimes this means acknowledging with a ‘like’ their comment; often it means adding a comment/response of your own. It also means not ignoring the challenging or awkward questions or comments.
- Think before responding to all questions and comments. If you’re not the most tactful person you may not be the right one to handle responses, or even sharing content, on social media. Tact and graciousness are important in all areas of a business. Social media is no exception and the lack of it can do far more damage than in a one-off encounter in a store. Here’s where you can shine or fail miserably.
- Invest cash to get your best content, from your target audience’s perspective, into the newsfeed of your target audience, on networks like Facebook. If you don’t do this, on a network like Facebook, you may be spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere. Read my article ‘Why You May Want To Pay For Facebook‘.
In the end, for most businesses, a lack of success with social media is tied to:
- a lack of perseverance and consistency
- posting content that is NOT interesting, helpful and/or valuable to fans/followers/connections
- using social media as if it is a traditional advertising tool – it isn’t – and talking only about your own business
The beauty of social media is that you can share content that is helpful to those you hope to reach AND at the same time build recognition and greater trust for your brand.
This is done NOT by using every opportunity possible to tell them about your products and services, but by using every opportunity to provide content that is useful, helpful, valuable to them. This will get their attention far faster and make it much more likely they’ll think of you as a resource when they’re looking for what you have to offer.