Sometimes I wonder why many businesses seem to use social media, but fail to make it convert into something tangible, something on the bottom line, something that sticks to their identity, image, and branding. Come to think of it, most of the people they connect to out there seem to be more disturbed than excited about what you have to say.
I wonder about this because I have been approached by a lot of baffled companies requesting me to look into their social strategies and find out why the intended results do not match actual sales. What I found out is astounding – ALL these companies, which recognize the importance of planning in every other aspect of their business and implement them accordingly, don’t have anything remotely resembling a social marketing/branding action plan. They may have a strategy, but they don’t have a plan for what happens from week to week and what they need to work on in the long-term haul.
Digging deeper into why these companies can commit such a basic mistake, I found out that all of them just dived right into social media with hardly any thought about how these tools will work right for them on a daily basis. I think the mistake is that they got the strategy, but they forgot or simply didn’t know how to launch it – from a-z.
And the primary reason why this sad situation has to play itself out? Accessibility. It’s so easy to create accounts on various social networks, and start posting content right away, AND it costs you practically nothing – that these companies are lulled into a state of a casual approach. They stop seeing social media as something strategic, as an opportunity to surprise their surroundings, and saw it as just another communication channel where they don’t have to put enough resources to take it seriously. What makes social media work really well for me can be a curse for someone using these tools improperly.
Social media is a bane for those who tend to think in literal numbers – that having a thousand likers and followers is an end in itself; that business will just naturally take care of itself once you have attained a significant increase in traffic to your site.
This idea was smokin’ ten years ago, or even five years ago. But today, what would you say if I declare that I can outperform your 2,000 likers and followers with a mere 200 or even 100 of my fully connected audience? An audience that is really interested in the value that I provide, and trust me completely enough to go for their wallets, once in a while, to buy my services?
The key to using social media properly is to rock your identity to the right audience.