Establishing A Solid Social Media Presence
Many business owners are becoming more and more aware of the importance of a solid social media presence. Social Media is no longer an “up and coming platform”. For businesses both large and small, it is a necessity for branding and customer relations. Some companies, especially in the airline industry are moving more and more of their customer services to social media, especially Twitter. Those who run good businesses know the importance of good marketing.
Having a presence on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even Pinterest are not often in the forefront of many business owners. Social Media is the new “word of mouth”. In Social Media Examiner’s 2014 State of Social Media Marketing Report which was a survey of over 2800+ marketers, 92% participants indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their business and over 84% of participants found that increased online traffic occurred with as little as 6 hours per week invested in social media marketing.
However, many times what we see happening is a half measured approach. Where a company will open social media accounts, begin using them but then stop because they are either too busy or become overwhelmed. This can be harmful to your business efforts as it can be communicated that you are no longer there or your not very good at what you do. We have all seen it, the social media accounts that have not been updated in months. The website that only has old blogs and was “last updated June 2009”. On Twitter, we call this “Three followers and an Egg”. It’s the account that has never even taken the time to customize their profile but opted for Twitter’s default new user egg avatar and has three followers (normally employees or friends). There are a series of 5 tweets about being excited to be on social media, then… nothing.
There is no doubt that doing social media right takes time. For small business, where employees may be doubling up responsibilities already, taking the time to blog, send updates, etc. can be seen as “not worth it”. For larger companies who may already have robust marketing campaigns through more traditional means, it may seem trivial. Here are some other statistics that may shed some light not only on the benefits of social media marketing, but where the industry is going:
- More than 50% of marketers who’ve invested at least 1 year in social media marketing report that new partnerships were gained.
- Spending as little as 6 hours per week, over 66% of marketers see lead generation benefits with social media.
- Over 50% of those who spend at least six hours per week on social media efforts saw a benefit of reduced marketing expenses.
- More than half of marketers who’ve been using social media for at least three years report it has helped them improve sales.
OK, great – but how do you do social media better?
#1 Start Somewhere
A large part of having a strong social media presence is keeping it current, informative but fun! Start with a platform or two that you may already be familiar with. You don’t need everything at once and starting too much at one time can lead to that overwhelming feeling, especially if you are not familiar with the platform.
#2 Spread the Wealth
While it is good to have one point person overseeing your social media accounts, it does not mean one person has to be responsible for all the content. Ask employees to write up a blog from time to time or find an interesting link that associates your business with good information. There may be an employee who loves to write content and is already very good at social media!
#3 Visually Communicate
Most people have “smart phones” these days that have great cameras. Take pictures of your work community or create short videos of product or event information. YouTube is the world’s 2nd largest search engine and creating a YouTube channel for your business is a great visual way to communicate. YouTube videos can be linked in most social media platforms very easily. From time to time I have attended business-networking groups where each representative will go around the room and give a 45 second “commercial”, either sharing who they are or some seasonal information. This same approach could be taken to putting out 2-3 videos a week. It’s not as time consuming as you may think, especially when you are talking about what you do and who you are!
There are also companies like UZU Media who come along side businesses to help manage, coach or oversee social media strategies and campaigns. While the best content always comes directly from the company itself, having someone to help get you going can take the burden off of you and help you see the benefits of great social media marketing.
But if you think social media is just a “fad” or for “young” people (BTW – Twitter’s fastest growing demographic is between 55-64 years old!), here is a parting video for you.