First and foremost, I want you to notice that the title of this article is not: “Why Social Media Won’t Work for Your Business.”
Social Media will work for any business that wishes to stand out in the marketplace. A business that spends the time coming up with a viable strategy, goals based on reasonable expectations and consistent execution, is the focus of the social media world. Geez…that sounds a little formal, doesn’t it? Let’s break it down.
Using social media as a tool for creating, promoting and increasing business is something that requires investment of both time and money that’s directed at a well-thought-out objective. Truth is, many companies are just out there flailing away, trying to build a social presence with no real ‘set’ goal in mind. They know they need to do something, and they know it needs to be in the area of social media, but their efforts – more often than not – end up misdirected. Therefore, the main reason Social Media doesn’t work for a company is: “Having No Plan.”
In order to come up with a plan we must ask some very specific questions. What are we trying to accomplish? Who is our audience? What do we want them to do? And, after they do it, how can we keep them engaged and interested in our company? Once those questions are answered, a business must then delve deeper. How will we determine if the plan is working? What will we receive from the plan? What do we have to spend to implement the plan, and how do we determine what the expenditure of time, money and resources should be? If it’s not working, how do we ‘tweak’ it to make it better? That’s a lot of questions, isn’t it?
When we’re building a social presence, we’re deciding who we are and who we wish to interact with, all the while determining how we can best keep our audience engaged. No person or company can be everything to everyone, and no matter how hard we try, not everyone is going to be interested, nor is everyone going to benefit from our offering. We have to pick a lane, so to speak, and find that absolute most effective strategy to make our business grow.
Reason number two for social media failure is: “Unreasonable Expectations.” If I build it they will come, right? Unfortunately, that only happens in the movies. All things worth achieving in business take time, money and commitment. If it was easy, everyone would do it, and then there would be no money to be made. Why? Because the supply would far outweigh the demand and there simply wouldn’t be enough of an audience for everyone to make money. Rule number two goes hand-in-hand with having a plan. First, what are you trying to accomplish? Second, how do you measure progress? What benchmarks are you setting, and in what period of time do you wish to achieve them? Are the benchmarks reasonable? Let’s face it, if you don’t really have anything to base you expectations on – besides how you think things should be – then you’ll most likely find yourself pretty disappointed in the results. We want to attract followers to our offering and then keep them engaged. Unless you are some well-known-actor, rock star or sports figure that makes millions of people head to Facebook or Twitter to see what you’re up to, you’re probably not going to have a world of followers suddenly beating a path to you door. Which means, you’re going to have to think ‘outside the box’ and work to acquire a reasonable number of followers that are going to actually mean something. Without a fan base you can’t accomplish much. It’s like going to a networking event where there are only five attendees circling the conference floor. Unless you’re incredibly lucky, you’re not going to get a lot done.
Reason number three: “Lack of Resources.” What does it cost to build a social presence? Depending on your company and what you’re trying to accomplish, it could take one or two full-time people to get all this going and moving in the right direction. Most smaller businesses just do not want to devote that kind of money to something they don’t know will work. They need that guarantee.
John Wanamaker said, “I know that half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; trouble is, I just don’t know which half.” Contrary to what most people think, building an online presence is NOT advertising. It’s all about building a group of fans and followers who “hopefully” will turn into promoters for your business. This can and will happen, but only when there are enough of them amassed.
There’s no time to wait. Build the audience first…then the business will come.
Be First Inc. Get Noticed!