Hey, there! It’s your old friend Social Media here. At least I hope we’re still friends, even if it’s just on Facebook.
The truth is, it seems like a lot of you have been hating on me lately and it’s starting to hurt my feelings. I understand that for some of you, it’s been tough incorporating me into your business strategy. No sooner do you start to understand one of my platforms, another one pops up. Then you need to create a new profile and start building your network all over again, which can be frustrating, especially for those of you without a Millennial-intern handy.
But remember, I’m here to make your business better. So, if you can stop blaming me for all the duck-face selfies on your newsfeed for a few minutes, let me give you a little advice:
First off, stop trying to be a master of every platform. Kudos to you for being ambitious, but the truth of the matter is that not every platform will fit every company. Instagram is great for visual businesses that create #nofilter-quality products. But if you’re an accounting firm, the world probably isn’t dying for photos of your spreadsheets.
Before creating dozen and dozens of different social media profiles for your business, think about what distinguishes each platform. Does your target audience use that site? Would the posting format lend itself to the content you produce? Do you enjoy using the platform?
Once you decide if the social platform is a good fit for you and your company, give it a try. Don’t expect to have a million followers overnight, but you’ll know pretty quickly if the platform will meet your needs. And if you decide Pinterest isn’t for you, no big deal, just delete your account.
Let me repeat: delete your old account. If a potential customer stumbles on a page you haven’t posted on in years, they’ll probably assume you went out of business. Or that you’re tech-impaired. Or just lazy.
That brings me to my next point. I’m Social Media. Not Wait For Someone To Come To You Media, and definitely not Blast Everyone’s Newsfeed With Business Media. I only work if you actively take part in the process, not only by sharing quality content but also by engaging with others’ posts.
So once you find the right social media platforms for your company, focus on creating conversations that allow people to engage with you and your brand. That doesn’t mean you need to spend five hours a day “liking” every tweet in your feed. I’m about quality, not quantity. (Although it might not seem like it if you follow any of the Kardashians.)
“But, Social Media,” you might say, “how will anyone see my content if I only post a few times a day? Won’t I get lost in the shuffle?”
I’m not gonna lie — timing is a big part of success. There are going to be times when your posts drown in a sea of cat videos. But if you watch when your posts get the most clicks or interaction, you’ll be able to develop a schedule that works best for you.
Now let’s talk about one of my favorite issues people have with me: ROI. For many companies, especially smaller ones, it’s difficult to understand how success on Twitter equates to business success. After all, a hundred followers do not equate to a hundred dollars in profit.
The problem is you’re jumping into my platforms without setting any concrete goals. Then you look at graphs measuring the number of likes and comments but have no idea what that means for your business. And then, do you know what happens? You get angry at me.
Listen, I was created as a way to connect college students who were too hungover to come out of their dorm room. I was not designed with your business in mind. That means the metrics you get from me are going to look a little unfamiliar. And unless you set some goals, they’ll have little meaning.
For instance, if you’re trying to raise brand awareness, Twitter mentions and videos watched on YouTube are a good way to judge your success. But if you’re trying to improve customer loyalty, your number of followers is a better thing to look at.
So, can you all stop getting so frustrated with me? I’m not a fad, and I’m not going anywhere. And it’d be really nice if you, me, and your business could all get along. So what do you say?