Remember when social media was this crazy new trend for businesses to use for marketing? Many companies jumped at the opportunity to promote themselves for “free” online.
Remember? Okay, now wipe away the memories of social media being “free” and don’t have that thought ever again.
Businesses can obvs sign up for any major platform for free, start posting content up the wazoo and engage with people within minutes… Some can simply Google “How to social media”, follow a free instructional blog post and pray that their content will lead to sales. But, in the end, is the time and effort being dumped into a strategy-less social media launch “free”?
You already know the answer is NO.
Social Media Is Like Getting Married
Yes, I said it, wait, I’ve never been married, but I will use what I’ve heard from my married folks for this comparison. Social media is like getting married because:
It requires effort
You can’t just post random shit and hope to get something in return, social media is a two way street. It requires learning best practices, tactics to reach your audiences, knowing where your clients are hanging out, etc.
It requires commitment
We’ve all seen it before, companies get super in love with social media for a couple weeks, they realize how much of a time suck it is (because they have no strategy), bump it down on their priority list, and just update whenever they feel like it. Social media in general, but especially for businesses, requires a long term commitment.
Sometimes you want to strangle it
If my client was being honest when he said he sometimes wants to strangle his wife, then it’s true about social media. I can speak from first hand experience as a social media strategist, sometimes I want to strangle social media or punch it in the face with a chair. Even for someone who practically “lives” on social media, it can be frustrating, it can be overwhelming from time to time and it can be irritating af.Sometimes I want to strangle social media or punch it in the face with a chair. Click To Tweet
Communication is the key to a good relationship, errr social media strategy
I know, you’re probably sick of hearing it, many industry people talking about “building relationships on social media, engaging, providing valuable content” blah blah blah. But you know why so many industry people like to non-stop talk about that? Because it’s true. You can’t just automate your posts and not check in on a daily basis. It’s a product of interactions and touch points with potential clients. In order to receive any value from the time invested, you must be open for communication at (almost) all times.
4 Tips to Getting Started on Social Media
So you’ve decided to take the leap to social media. I’m totally stoked and seriously excited for you. There are so many companies who are “scared” of social media still (which blows my mind, but that’s another blog post), so I commend you for joining us on the darkside muahahhaha (just kidding!).
Getting started on social media for your business is like dating, you’re still getting to know the other person and hoping the honeymoon phase lasts forever. Here are 4 essentials to keep in mind during this early stage of your company’s relationship with social media marketing:
1. Take it slow
Your mom probably told you not to rush into second or third base (and definitely not hit a home run) when it comes to relationships. Surprise, it’s the same with social media! Take it slow, get familiar with each platform and research tools like Buffer or Sprout Social or other resources that will help make things easier and more streamlined. When you expect to get to third base in the first, you will find yourself disappointed and overwhelmed. Social media doesn’t put out on the first date.
2. Stop selling yourself
Think about why you, yourself, use social media on a daily basis. It’s not to look at sales or promotional products, it’s to connect and keep up to date with friends and people you know. A common mistake businesses make is they try too hard to sell themselves, everyone loves to talk about themselves and business owners are no different. When social media is used as a broadcasting tool, unless you’re a huge brand, people will start unfollowing you. Nobody wants to be sold to, and hard sells on social media will hinder your performance and account growth.
So take it easy, provide for your audience and they’ll eventually provide for you.
3. Get to know your audience
First dates don’t equal true love forever. Similar to the previous point, get to know your customers, even if you know they’ll never be “the one” conversion you want. Remember that customers have friends and family and that word of mouth and personal referrals are huge when it comes to the buyers journey. For example, I don’t think I’d ever need a realtor, but when my sister asked me if I knew any, I could rattle off at least 5 I’ve connected and built a relationship with on social media.
Take the time to engage with your audience. Thank them and acknowledge them for their comments or ask follow up questions even if they’re not related to what you’re selling. HUMAN interaction is super important, stop automating things, stop getting robots to do your engagement for you. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying get on social media and talk to random peeps and waste time. I’m saying: be a fucking person and if someone says something to you, even if it’s off topic, respond.
You’ll see it a lot with businesses who think they’ve embraced social but haven’t really. They will have X amount of comments but don’t respond or acknowledge them. This is where they are losing out, they could be taking the initiative to build brand loyalty or fans, but instead they stay quiet. Is your competition like that? One up them and communicate with people on social media. That simple.
4. Prove You’re Worth the Follow
Again, this ties back to all previous pointers, but what are people gaining from following you?
If you’re a business selling a service, prove you know what the hell you’re talking about by positioning yourself as a “thought leader” or an “expert” in your niche. Share and create quality content that drives back to your social media strategy and to your business goals. Be the business people want to work with when they need your product or service. Prove you know what you’re talking about, know what you’re selling inside and out, and provide something of substance to your followers. Cat photos just don’t cut it… Unless you’re selling cat related stuff.
Think about what your customers care about and focus on that. Reinforce in their minds that your company is the one to work with because you know your shit, your social media customer service is on point and you’re sharing free information/content with them.
So, is social media marketing for businesses worth the investment?
Starting off with a strong strategy and quality content is a great way to launch. Social media marketing is definitely no longer free, so get that out of your mind right now… Unless of course you think your time isn’t worth anything.
TL;DR – Social media marketing can no longer be ignored and is definitely worth the investment, actually let me rephrase: GOOD social media marketing is worth the investment. It’s understandable that not everyone has the time or the patience to learn it, so if you want some help, contact me… Or not.