Enough with the cute kittens and pictures of what you are eating for lunch!
In the last installment, we looked at reasons that business owners and marketers are often frustrated with SEO, and the lack of results they see from their efforts. We concluded that the main problem was that the primary goals associated with SEO alone, were not in line with the overall goals a successful marketing plan will exhibit. In the same way, many business owners and marketers are frustrated with social media. They are frustrated with keeping up with it, as well as seeing the apparent lack of results for their effort. If the solution lies in realigning our social media goals with sound marketing goals, how do we go about doing that? That is the topic of this post.
Social Media, by itself, is not a marketing strategy.
The wisdom of the day used to sound something like this. “You need to engage your customers in meaningful conversation through social media channels to build interest in, and loyalty to your brand.” Countless books and manifestos were written on this subject. Conversation and engagement were the big buzzwords during the early days of the social media revolution. But, what exactly does conversation and engagement get you? The goal of generating this type of buzz about your company int he social media channels is to gain exposure – or in social media terms, reach. The simplified version of this is if you have 10 friends who are talking about products to at least 10 of their friends, then all of a sudden – you have reached an audience of 100. This is the viral power of social media, and this is why it is an integral part of a comprehensive inbound marketing plan What is reach, though, and does this “reach” put any money in your pockets? Here is where we have to hone our social media strategy into a sound marketing strategy, and here is how we do it.
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Social Media, as part of an Inbound Marketing campaign is a powerful marketing strategy.
This is actually very, very simple. Way too many twitter accounts and facebook pages are dedicated to the social media equivalent of talking about the weather. People saying good morning, retweeting news, posting pictures of their power lunch with a colleague, etc. Sure – you might gain reach when friends, and friends of friends like, follow or retweet these messages, but WHY are you spreading this message? Here is an illustration:
Company A: Posts to Facebook and/or Twitter at least once a day with some sort of thoughtful quote, funny picture, the latest facebook meme (hopefully not). These get a few likes and a bunch of eyeballs, but no activity. Essentially, these become part of the online white noise we all learn to tune out in our day to day business.
Company B: Posts a little less often, but posts original content or insight that positions them as leaders in their field. These posts contain valuable information for their intended audience and as a result, are liked, shared, tweeted, retweeted, etc. THIS is the kind of reach that is valuable, but ONLY if the posts ultimately do something to bring the viewer back to your website where they can continue the dialogue through inbound marketing channels. You want them to subscribe, download something, or otherwise interact with your company online.
Don’t be part of the white noise!
In wrapping up – way too many businesses find themselves in the Company A boat, because someone told them that they have to post something every day. Quantity over quality. Don’t fall for this, otherwise you’ll end up being part of the general roar of noise that we ignore every day. Stand out! Be like Company B and post timely, valuable information that captures the reader and inspires action. Quality, not quantity, will rise above the noise and get your the kind of attention that turns into leads and more business rather.
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