I recently read a brilliant quote, which I think nicely sums up how many businesses approach the use of social media to reach out to their customers:
“Social media is like sex in high school. Everyone claims they are doing it, but very few are.”
Let me explain. I love networkng meetings. Brilliant for meeting new people, and learning about their businesses. And then there's the conversation around ‘so what do you do?'
For me, the explanation is easy. But what I find interesting is the response I usually get when I explain I help others to use social media effectively.
“Oh yes, I do social media. I post on Facebook a couple of times a week, and tweet whenever I have time”
Now, I'm not criticising any business owner who responds with that. At least they have made an attempt to give social media a try; to engage with their customers on Facebook and Twitter.
They may have amassed lots of followers and fans, or even set up a blog.
But are they really ‘using’ social media?
- Do they have a content strategy and plan?
- Are they posting interesting and engaging content regularly and consistently?
- Do they know who their customers are – and where and how to find them?
- Are they measuring their results against specific goals?
- Are they spending more than 10 minutes a day on their social media accounts?
Unfortunately, the answer to these questions is usually ‘No'.
For anyone thinking of using social media for their business, it is important to realise that setting up a Facebook or Twitter account, gathering followers, and spending some time doing status updates and tweets, doesn’t necessarily mean you are ‘doing it'. Effective use of the various accounts requires hard work, effort, and dedication; an understanding of how to create engaging and interesting content. And results will usually only show over time. Followers, ‘likes' and sales will do not just magically appear.
If social media isn't working for you, it is perhaps time to review your approach. Ask yourself honestly if you have the time, and the know-how to dedicate to social media. If you don't…….it may be time to ask for help.
What tips do you have to help do it well?