The truth about the impact of Social Media strategies
It is now common for companies to develop Social Media strategies and to hire Social Media Managers in order to boost their online presence. But what can you really expect from Social Media Marketing?
A few years back, only the most innovative companies would have bet on Facebook or Twitter. Most were skeptical about the profit of such platform.
Nowadays, everyone moves to Social Media expecting fast results. But what can you really expect from your Social Media Strategy? And are you even sure you have chosen the right Social Media platform for your company?
Social Media in general and Facebook in particular give a very specific image of proximity with people. Consequently, companies moving to Facebook have unrealistic expectations.
If you expect to go on Social Media and increase your sales, find new customers, enhance customers' loyalty while spending a minimum, you should seriously reconsider your strategy.
Social Media is nothing more than a marketing channel based on new technologies: would you expect any immediate, long-term profit from your usual channels? Probably not.
Except if you find THE idea, THE concept that will buzz and go viral, your marketing promotion, be it online or offline, will never hit the sweet spot of long term revenue: most marketing promotions have a direct ROI that will disappear as the promotion stops.
Similarly, no marketing strategy gets incredible results in weeks: it takes time for a strategy to start showing positive results. The same applies to Social Media: if you expect your fan base to grow by millions overnight you might quickly be disappointed. Building and growing a fan base takes time and effort and shouldn't be a goal on its own.
If you expect to sell with your Facebook page you might quickly be very disappointed!
Social Media is a branding tool: with your Twitter page, your LinkedIn account or your Pinterest board you will soon be able to connect with your customers and bond with them. But do not expect to drive sales from it.
The real power of Social Media lies in the fact that, unlike traditional channels, you could measure and analyze your results. Through the internet you can identify your followers and, even better, talk to them.
Do not spam your fans with constant promotions and sales speech: instead, bond with them, get to know them and create relationships that will then influence them into getting more loyal to your brand. Even more: listen to them, gather their feedback and improve yourself based on what others tell you. No other marketing channel ever offered you that chance before.
But to achieve that, you will have to allocate the right people to the right tasks. Social Media might be relatively cheap (compared to TV channels, street banners, etc.) but it has a cost nonetheless. Instead of asking an intern or a junior to take care of your Facebook page, make sure you allocate a Social Media Manager with sufficient power and autonomy.
There are plenty of reasons to move to Social Media. Some are excellent, others are just bad.
If you move to generate profit, to follow the trend, because it is cheap or affordable, because you use Facebook at home and you find it cool, because you have a few hours to kill, because you think it shouldn't be too much work, you will fail. Worse, you might harm your image.
You should only move to Social Media when you want to build up your brand, when you have sufficient resources to reply your customers online, when you have sufficient manpower to post content regularly and when you are keen to know your customers better and accept their feedback.
Once you have all these, once you've accepted that Social Media is all about branding and not about sales, once you agreed that your main objective should be to build engagement instead of growing your followers' base, then build up your Social Media Strategy.
Now you are all set and ready to use Social Media in your business. Your next step will be to analyze what you should talk about on your page and how to reply negative comments on Social Media. If you feel like you missed a few steps and would like to start with Social Media Marketing from the begining, I could advise you to read "Social Media Marketing All-in-One For Dummies " that contains all the basics necessary for a great strategy building.
Tags: social media social media strategy marketing