Social Media is a complex and evolving medium that many businesses struggle to figure out. Few find quantifiable success with it, many have failed, and most have yet to truly form a social media strategy.
Failure is often a result of using social media before taking time to understand it, including asking the questions why do people engage on it and what are the unwritten rules that govern its use. It’s free exposure, and often organizations fail to intentionally plan their message as they would for an expensive ad campaign. It’s like trying to run before one has learned to walk. Consider this: In 2010, Nielsen and Facebook did a joint study on the effect of social media for enterprise using the benchmarks: Ad recall, brand awareness, and purchase intent. Social media had significantly better results than traditional marketing.
Whether an individual, a non-profit, or a business (B2B or B2C) – social media strategies must be well thought out and planned prior to execution. Questions must first be answered, primarily the question of “WHY?” “WHY are we getting into social media?” And, “WHY will this motivate individuals to find out more about our organization.” Before every post, “WHY will our followers find this post valuable?” Social media is permission based engagement – it is the most effective way to engage people and receive measurable results. When someone gives an organization permission to speak to them, the organization’s messaging must be “on” 100% of the time. It’s like dating, an organization must woo, cultivate, and meet the needs of their network. The following rules apply to almost every social media user who seeks to develop a platform, client acquisition, increased sales, and better brand awareness.
1. Social media is relational, not transactional.
2. Organizations must have a dedicated social media evangelist.
3. An organization should focus on engagement and not on numbers.
4. Define your core audience and identify your area of expertise.
5. Content is king.
6. Updates should be consistent and frequent.
7. A Social Media platform must be manifested.
8. A Profile must be Perfect.