Friday, February 17, 2012

Great Expectations, Social Media, and You.

Do you “want it now”? Do you believe in instant results? Do you have above average expectations? Nothing wrong with any of that unless you’re thinking about social media in conjunction with the answer “Yes”.

Don’t be disappointed; just remember that social media is a long term commitment. If you’re jumping in don’t give up after two weeks or a month because it’s “not working”. 

Time and time again I see people starting pages or Twitter accounts with the thought that they will suddenly have a big jump in sales growth for their products and services. 

They get frustrated with it, declare it’s a waste of time, and abandon it. That’s not realistic!

Usually, they’re posting discounts or specials of the day. That’s it.

Hello, social media is not a sales tool. 

It's not the first time I’ve pointed this out. And I’ll probably say it over and over again in future blogs.

Why? Because it’s important to understand that social media creates awareness for your product or service and offers an opportunity to ENGAGE with consumers. It makes your brand real; it shows you care.

Those of you who post nothing but specials of the day (if you’re a restaurant, for example) are in for a BIG disappointment. That’s not social media. Facebook and Google+ pages are not on-line shops. 

Here’s another hint: People don’t go on social networks to buy things.

Dickens once said "This is a world of action, and not for moping and droning in." So think about the "action"; how is your customer seeing YOU?

Now, back to our story. It can take months to build an audience that is willing to engage with you. And I stress the word engage. Sure, you can sign up for a service like “10,000 followers” and have all the followers or fans you want. But if none of those people are responding to you, what’s the point?

I recently read an article that said less than 4% of Facebook pages have fans that are engaged. That’s truly sad. Currently, my MODern Marketing 4 U page is at 14% and my Groovy Reflections page is at 26%. I’d rather have fewer fans that are quality fans than “just numbers”.

That’s my preference.

Now, once you have some quality followers, why not talk to them rather than sell to them? You’ve heard the expression about bringing the horse to the water? Once they’re there and letting you know they’re out there by responding to you, they are one step closer to “drinking”. 

Was talking with a friend on the phone yesterday. She said she keeps telling people to listen to music because it helps relieve stress and forget about pain; but they "don't listen". I said to her: Rather than tell people to listen, suggest a site or page with music that they may enjoy instead. They’ll figure out the benefit on their own. 

You can translate this example to how you post for your business. So, instead of saying “10% off our special today: Lasagna Diablo”, post a photo and ask people how HOT they think the Lasagna Diablo is.

Results from social media are not immediate. The key is not to sell to people, but to engage them. Think of it more like public relations and NOT as a platform for sales. You have a website for that already.

Create a conversational, positive image so that you are top-of-mind when they need a product or service like yours. 

Of course, you can also call a professional and let them create the strategy for success for you!

Those of you that are spinning your wheels and want to give up: Don’t. But do be realistic with your expectations.

Some Great Expectations from the composer Patrick Doyle can be found here.


Shannon Grissom said...

Engagement is key! Groovy!

Chris said...

Excellent piece. We constantly preach this message to our clients as they want results within 1 month and with SM it just doesnt happen.
Anyone can get a big number of followers, but its interaction with those followers that is key. I would rather have 100 followers that interact than 10000 who are zombies

Thinkhappy said...

Social media is for building relationships:-) Nice article!