Four Ideas to Succeed in Your Social Media Activities
There is still an ongoing debate on the effectiveness of social media. And it is only enticed by the fact that a very social company does not necessarily mean it has a lot of sales.
A social company is like a chattering cashier. People may like him/her, but they will not necessarily buy whatever the company he/she works for sells. While I agree with this, I think there’s just more to social media than a short or midterm ROI.
To me, probably the most underrated value of social media comes from the psychological impact on your current and potential customers. A social company is seen as active, happy, reachable, and productive. Unless there’s a solid reason for not being in social media, an “antisocial” company may be seen as the opposite. Inactive, unhappy, unreachable, and unproductive. And that I think will have a direct impact on sales, if not in the short term, in the long term.
On this post I’m highlighting some things to motivate you as well as help you get started with your social media efforts.
Social pays off as much as a like-able cashier pays off. But crappy products are crappy products. Do not be fooled by thinking social media will help crappy products. Be social because you are genuinely interested in your audience. Be social because you care.
1. Identify your unique value proposition.
What do you bring to the market? what differentiates you from similar competitors? Are you a leader or a follower? maybe you are late in the market but have a unique proposal. Maybe you have some local advantage. Maybe you have an excellent product. Or maybe your product or service fills a need that other companies do not properly satisfy. It can be anything, but you must do your homework and identify it. What do you bring to the table? How are you creating value for your current or potential customers?
2. Being consistent takes time, but it pays off.
It has been stressed over and over. With the never-ending string of news, posts and several other feeds there’s an attention span, or a lack of attention for that matters.
Once you’ve identified what makes you unique, you must develop a content strategy that boosts your value prop. It is not only about sharing relevant content, it is also about monitoring what works and what doesn’t, then generating more of what works. Consistency takes time, so it makes sense to invest your time on what has worked, or on what is working.
3. Start conversations, not sales.
Online marketing is not only about pushing and pulling data just because. It is about translating that data transactions into goals that align with your business or organization. It is not sufficient to only post content that you think your audience will find funny or unique. It is about finding the message that will get you to where you want to get.
As a business you expect something in return from these online efforts. As a retailer, most likely, your customers liked, friended, followed, or circled you for a reason. In most cases, probably to get some special discount. But it could also be the case that there might be something about your brand that attracted them or made them feel special.
Since you can not always offer discounts, and certainly not always make your audience special. Think of ways to how you can generate other forms of engagement. Something that is not only relevant but chat worthy. Your audience is already on Facebook, Twitter, Linked, Google+, Pinterest or Instagram. Why not have some relevant conversations there too?
4. Monitor that which can be aligned with your business goals.
Social media offers a lot of insights, but it is not always the case that this insight will translate into useful data. Impressions or reach are worthless if they can’t be translated or correlated into actionable insights. How do you know what’s the real benefit of impressions, shares, likes or retweets?
Learn how your social media activities can be aligned with your business goals. The best thing for doing this is identifying your unique value prop. Once you’ve identified it, you should be able to start conversations around that value proposition. But don’t make the mistake of aligning your social media activities to conversions or sales per se. These are just psychological triggers, not necessarily part of the sales funnel. What you want to achieve by being social is show your fun side, your knowledgeable side, your customer service side, and most importantly, your human side.
Given the chance, you should prefer few very happy customers over several moderately unhappy customers. Happy customers are an asset. Unhappy customers are a liability. You want to make sure your assets are greater than your liabilities.
I like to make analogies with the physical world. An active social media profile is the equivalent of an active store front. If you see people in line outside a store or a restaurant, you may not buy from them this time. But you might soon. It is a picture that is hard to forget. It has psychological impact that in most cases will benefit your business. The same benefits I believe apply to social media. A social company is a company that looks busy and interesting enough to give them a chance someday. Worst case scenario, people won’t buy from you today, but will give you a social media thumbs up.
There you go. Now do some research, brainstorm some material and post it. the beauty of social media is that you get immediate feedback. If one thing is not working, just change it starting today!