Business and Social Media, Four Misconceptions
Okay, you get it. You need to get some social media profiles and pages in place and you need to start posting on them. Sounds easy? It’s no secret that companies, small to large, are utilizing social media platforms to build their brands and generate leads. Even so, social media is still a new media in the minds of many business owners, and can be an ambiguous space to market in. Steer clear of these four common misconceptions that plague the potential of social media marketing, SMM.
- That it is Sales Oriented
Wait? What do you mean social media isn’t sales oriented? Well, we mean exactly that. Social Media is NOT an ecommerce tool. It is a branding tool, and companies that invest in social media marketing expecting the one-on-one conversations to turn immediate responses in sales with each and every post are going to be sorely disappointed.
Invest in social media to build consumer trust and to drive brand awareness, so when you do your sales calls or direct mail outreach, they are already familiar with your company and what you represent.
- That it is Free
Yes, you can set up your Twitter page, Facebook Business Page, LinkedIn profiles and even your Blog for free, $0.. However, there is a difference between price and cost. The cost in social media comes from the time it takes to build and implement a social media content plan and each of the posts, tweets and links that make up your content strategy.
The social media cost in time also includes monitoring and responding to the conversations on your pages and within your profiles. It is crucial that you take the time to speak and respond in your pages to get the most out of your social media marketing plan.
- Starting without a Social Media Marketing Strategy
A marketing plan without a well-thought-out-strategy will fail, even when you succeed. This would be analogous to successfully climbing the corporate ladder, but on the wrong wall. This “wrong wall” process can be avoided by build a social media marketing strategy based on the answers to the following questions:
- Who is your target market?
- What goals are you trying to achieve?
- Based on your market research, what SMM sites do members of your target market frequent?
- What value are you offering your target audience to keep them engaged on your pages and profiles?
4. Quitting Before you get Started
Consistency in social media, like in other marketing efforts, is key. You need to build your strategy, stick to it and give your plan time to draw attention. Consistent content helps, but it’s just as crucial to keep your responses timely and thought out.
It’s important to keep in mind that the niche difference between social media and other marketing methods is the one-on-one engagement factor the platforms allow between customers and businesses. However, this engagement will not happen overnight, so give your plan time to engage your audience, then build the conversation to drive prospect confidence.
Social media marketing is an investment. It requires time and attention, and the ability to adapt to gain better responses. Many companies begin this process not fully understanding the process or commitment required to obtain positive results from a SMM plan. If you don’t feel the passion, or have the necessary expertise/dedication to maintain a long term program, consider going outside your company for assistance. Save time and money by employing a marketing consultant with skills in building, implementing and monitoring social media marketing strategies. Your brand is worth the investment.