Are You Missing the Point of Social Media?
It’s great that businesses are starting to get that they need to be involved in social media, but in many cases they are still missing the point. Their main focus is on getting lots of fans and followers and they don’t even consider that it’s really about much more than that. They see it as a numbers game. Of course fans and followers are crucial to a social media strategy, but it’s important to really think about social media as a long term branding tool.
Essentially, social media is part of an inbound content marketing strategy. A social media page is a place to share content and connect with various audiences. In most cases, it really isn’t going to result in a quick increase in sales. However, it’s a great way to stay top of mind and establish your brand reputation and presence in the eyes of your target audience. A social media strategy should be built for the long term. It’s about sharing content now that will lead to trust which will lead to a sale or conversion at some point in the future.
Many companies don’t get the relationship building component of social media. They think, “Great! Another place to push my coupons!” and their posts just look like a bunch of ads. Links to promotions are certainly beneficial, but you shouldn’t clog your follower’s feeds with them. In fact, doing so is a surefire way to lose followers. The beauty of social media is that it allows people to connect with those that they probably wouldn’t have otherwise connected with so easily.
This includes their favorite brands. Because you are connected, it’s almost like you are equals in the social space. Social media users believe that a connection means a relationship. It’s important to respect that relationship and nurture it. In addition to promotional posts, share things that your social media followers would appreciate and actually interact with them. Ask questions and request feedback. Social media is about being social, after all.
Some businesses go into social media with the best of intentions, but then quickly lose interest. A few tweets a day becomes a few tweets a week and then before you know it the account it completely inactive. What businesses need to realize is that they aren’t going to see immediate results. Like SEO, it’s a long term process. In fact, it may be an even longer process than SEO. While the landscape may always be changing, the core concept of social media will remain the same. Make the right connections, show that you value those relationships, and build trust and loyalty over time.
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