Pitching social media to some clients is not always an easy process. You can show them the immediate value of a newly designed website or a rebranding campaign, but trying to show them the immediate value of social media is like trying to explain the reason your office needs a phone line. Often small business owners ask, “What can I get out of social media? How soon can I expect to see new clientele by being on Facebook or Twitter?” My response is always that social media must first stay social; you won’t find an immediate burst of new clients, but what you will find is a return on relationships. That phone line doesn’t add an immediate dollar value to your bottom line, but it does add value to your customer service, and when done right, creates respect, brand loyalty, and eventually new business.
Let’s look at some common misconceptions small business owners have about social media. You might find out you’ve had some of these thoughts, and hopefully, you can walk away with some new thoughts about the value and importance of social media!
False. This may sound like I am trying to sabotage my own business, but I am that passionate about delivering quality and helping you meet your goals. With that being said, social media is not for everyone. While I strongly believe that it is incredibly useful for companies and should be used widely, it is not a “one-size fits all” baseball cap. Make sure it aligns with your company’s branding and marketing strategy (need help determining this? Ask me for a free consultation and I will tell you in our first call. Shameless plug over).
Why? Are you advertising on every billboard? No? Then why divert your time on networks that won’t bring you a return on relationship that you are looking to get out of social networks? The first thing you ought to do is develop a social strategy. Like a marketing plan, a social strategy outlines the reasons you are entering the world we call social media. It clearly defines your goals and what you would like to achieve from social media. And finally it selects what channels you plan on using to achieve these goals. Once these networks are selected, explain why you selected them. What can Youtube offer you that Tumblrr can’t? Is Linkedin right for you? Should you look to new and upcoming social networks, like Pinterest? Do you really need to be on outdated ones like Myspace or Foursquare? That’s not a rhetorical question, some of the less popular ones are still beneficial for unique audiences!
It is if you spread yourself too thin and your reasons for using it are not aligned with your marketing goals. Mari Smith, a legitimate social media expert, wrote a book called, Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day. She has incredible insight on how you can reach your target audience using Facebook only one hour day. I’d propose that once you get a following and have built respect with your audience, you don’t even need an entire hour a day. Twenty minutes can be sufficient. They key is consistency. You don’t like it when you ask someone a question and they take three days to email you back, so why would you treat social media any different? Being consistent does not mean you are glued to your Facebook page or Twitter account, but rather you communicate clearly what your followers can expect from you and you provide value to their experience with your social channels.
While there is some legitimacy to this, it is important to clearly state that with social media, you get what you put in. Origin determines outcome. So if you begin with blasting sales pitches and using it primarily as a sales channel, you will be labeled a spammer and ignored. While you may have an incredible product or service, if the story you tell on social media is not consistent to your brand and mission, then you misrepresent your company. That is why it is important your social media strategy be so closely tied to your marketing and branding strategies. If you do not know how to do this and you hire someone to manage your social media accounts, make sure they can tell your story just as good, if not better, than you can. They are speaking for your company. What persona do they give your brand? Is it accurate to what you’ve built for the last one, five, ten years?
While not too many people still think this, surprisingly I still here it from time to time. Whether it be someone who is strongly biased to traditional forms of marketing and advertising, or simply they are not well versed in what social media is or what it does, there is still question on whether social media is worth the time and cost to invest in it. I don’t think there is much more I can say to show how important social media is to business, but to have you watch this video.
So, what are you gonna do with your new knowledge? Still wondering if social media is for you?
No to the Quo always offers free consultations to help you determine if it’s the right fit. Contact us today!