According to some social media experts, the channel works so well you can eliminate all other marketing. It is hard to resist their view of the world. After all, wouldn’t it be nice to chat with your friends or followers while increasing your sales?
If you’re participating in the social media world and not seeing the results you expected, there are some good reasons:
- Social media reduces buying resistance, it doesn’t drive sales. It is an introduction to your company and products; a conversation about why your products work or how to use them; and a way for you to get to know your customers. It is not a call to action. (Remember that? It’s old school and still required to motivate people.)
- You’re following the wrong advice. Some well known social media experts say that you should never actively promote your business or products. They say that “it is all about the conversation.” Yes, the conversation is important, but if you are representing your company in social media, you have to include talking about your business. If not, you are wasting your time.
- There isn’t a plan that includes objectives and return on investment. Can you imagine starting a direct marketing campaign without a plan? Why is social media different? You need to clearly define your objectives whether they are to improve customer service, sales, or a combination. They have to be measurable and monitored on a regular basis. Social media may not be the right vehicle for you to reach your destination.
- Your customers aren’t participating in social media. You can have the best plan, clever commentary, be loved by everyone in the social media world, and still fail. If your customers haven’t embraced the channel, you don’t need to be in it. If you sold the best beef in the world, would you market to vegetarians? The same common sense applies to social media.
- Social media is your hobby. You have a plan, but your execution is hit-or-miss. When you have a few extra minutes, you toss out a few tweets or pen a post. There are huge gaps in your online presence. You can’t build a following and inspire them to buy if you aren’t leading. A successful social media strategy requires a consistent commitment of time. If you aren’t using the tools, you can’t expect results.
If you want social media to work for your company, you have to have a working plan, good strategy, consistent execution, and measurable results. Before your next tweet or post, stop and think – “How does this move us forward?” If you don’t have an answer, you need to revisit your social media strategy.