Friday, July 25, 2014

Does Social Media Work?

At a meeting with a client yesterday someone asked me " We have a social media account and we are posting too but getting nothing from there. Does social media really work?" Having heard similar questions before, my first response was to ask them which all social media sites they were posting on, how frequently and  why. The answer was "Oh! Facebook and we post whenever we have something new or something we want to tell people." Their answer to "why" was "because we have to be on social media".  Well no wonder the question. Simple answer - Social Media does not work. You have to make it work.

Well that's the reason for this post today.  Does social media work? The question itself is incomplete. Does CRM work? Does marketing work? Does e-commerce work? Everything works or does not depending on what business you are in, who is your target audience, how you are using CRM, or Marketing or E-Commerce or Social media, and what do you want to achieve. Get my drift?

So for now let's just talk of Social media and try and list a few essentials. First see with respect to your business - 
  •  Who is your target audience - Try and narrow down to a specific persona. The answer "Oh Everyone is my target audience is wrong. There is a primary audience, a secondary audience and the tertiary audience. So first define who is your primary audience - Try and narrow it down as much as possible Male / Female, Both Male & Female, Age group, Students/Working Professionals/Home Makers/ and anything else you may want to define.
  • Where do they frequent - Which social media sites does this TG frequent? and What do they do there? which of these then is the place where they would be most inclined to interact with your company brand. e.g for a B2B business while you may have an Facebook page your audience may actually interact with your business more on your LinkedIn company profile.
  • Next look at your marketing objectives, your audience, and the social Media site/s you have chosen and think hard about what want to achieve on each of these sites. So you may want to use LinkedIn for interacting with your suppliers and/or recruiting talent and use Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter  to talk to consumers, Pinterest for images related to your products, etc etc.

So by now you know who you want to target, where all and why. Next is what and how. While the where and why will automatically answer a large part of this, there are also some other simple things to keep in mind. Lets quickly discuss some of these.

First & foremost remember that the Internet is a one-to-one and one-to-many medium like no other. So you cater to many but it has to be like you are catering to the one who is reading right now. People follow people. People like to buy from People. People relate to People. So be human. (And No am not referring to Salman Khan Foundation's "Being Human"). Your audience should feel they know the person, the person talks to them and lives with them and they can relate to this person. Talk, communicate & hand hold, the reader. Do not preach, broadcast or just make statements. They should get a feeling they are following you - where you go, what you do, your views and that they can respond - to you.

Then, write your post with the objective of starting a Dialogue. Don't just talk. Communicate. Write as if you are talking to the reader. That makes them feel this is for me. Writing style should be your own BUT conversational and not a monologue. So ask questions, ask opinions, give opinions. Try and involve the reader. S/he should feel this is a conversation between you & him / her. Do not be afraid to be controversial. The more controversial the better (but only if it is still your opinion and true). Always include at least one image related to what you are writing - a stock photo too would do at times - a representation of what you are talking about. Remember - an image speaks a thousand words. Plus on the Internet reading is a pain compared to on paper AND even on paper image images help break monotony as well as explain the point better and also act as a visual memory tag.  Ask for comments and feedback. Be participative. Follow other people and pages, comment and interact with them. Use images, photos of your business, products, service, team wherever possible.

Last but not the least - have a cohesive strategy that integrates your social media presence with your blog and website. Use your email communication to get people to connect with your social media presence & encourage it. Use one to drive traffic to the other and vice versa.

Then give it some time. And then decide if Social Media works for you or not.

Well there is a lot more, but then this would become too long and you wouldn't want to read it :-) So that's it for this post. Was that too much? Or too difficult to follow? Or want to discuss some of this is in more detail? Put in your comment and I will definitely try.  And if Social media has worked for you then do share your views with us here so that all readers can benefit from your experience.

1 comment:

  1. You have whetted my appetite. Can we have another dish on this topic soon.