Why you should pause before embracing Social Media.
Whether your business is new to Social Media or you’ve been doing it for a while, now might be the ideal time to rethink your approach. Specifically, around what you’re doing each day and how that relates to your business objectives.
Marketing has changed extensively over the past few years. Today, Social Media is a core marketing tactic practiced by companies of all sizes. And it seems everyone is doing it because A) their competitors are doing it and B) because it’s seen as a low-cost (and hopefully) effective marketing channel.
Social Media’s success is also its problem.
- There’s way to much ‘noise’ out there and it’s only increasing. To be noticed we’re now told we have to post up to 13 times a day. And with everyone shouting, who gets heard?
- Depending on your market, the social platforms you use may not be the best platforms for you to reach and engage with your target audience.
- All social posts look very much the same in your feed. Meaning, anything you publish has to compete with every other post that your followers receive—regardless of the topic.
- Social media platforms only account for a small fraction of where the online discussions actually take place. And if you’re lucky enough to find discussions on say… [Twitter], the bulk of those discussions won’t be on your [Twitter] account… which means they’ll likely go unnoticed and any potential sales opportunities will pass you by.
Each quarter, statistics on social platforms are released and updated.
At the end of June 2017, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter combined, accounted for approximately half of all active social platform users. That is a problem for 2 reasons:
- Firstly, assuming your potential customers are required to be active social users, you’re missing at least half of your potential audience.
- Secondly, people partition what they discuss and where they discuss it. They may have a favorite social platform for their personal life, but not their professional life. And to complicate things further in the B2B world, you’re more than likely speaking with multiple contacts at your target accounts, each with different needs and interests.
We need to take a step back and pause a moment.
Building a brand on Social Media is a long-term effort and it may not be the right tactic for you. Before committing to this activity, wouldn’t it be best to first find out if there’s an audience? Who’s already in this space? And what the landscape looks like?
Too many companies invest time, staff and budget in promoting their business on Facebook, Twitter, you name it, etc. without ever knowing if there’s any real benefit to the business, the industry you serve, or your future customers.
It’s time to rethink your approach to ‘Social’.
Assuming your positioning and content is on-message, Social Media is a good way to promote it. However, if you look at who your ‘followers’ are you’ll likely discover that a large percentage of them don’t fit your ‘ideal customer’ profile. And unless your audience uses hashtags as a form of search, future customers may not find you, or know that you can solve their problem. So who are you actually speaking too?
There is a better way to engage with your ideal customer—and it starts with Social Listening.
Successful marketing is based on understanding your prospect’s pain-points, then providing an honest solution to their needs. Historically, understanding their needs has come from traditional research, customer surveys and/or comments picked up and relayed by your Sales team. This could mean, if you conduct annual surveys, that your marketing might be 9-12 months out of date, or you’re creating material formed from assumptions rather than factual data.
Conversations about your industry or brand don’t happen in front of you. Nor do they occur solely in the world of one or two social media platforms. They happen everywhere—in chat rooms, blog posts, forums, videos, reviews, images and published news articles from all around the web at all times of the day.
In a recent Social Listening review for one of our B2B clients, we found more than 85% of their brand mentions over the last month occurred without their awareness—meaning they lacked the ability to engage in these discussions, and/or correct any negative perceptions participants may have made about their services or the industry. They also missed the opportunity to learn how their competitors are perceived.
How much more effective would your marketing be if your messaging could be adjusted based on real, un-filtered, user generated content?
Social Listening gives you the real-time ability to hear what your marketplace truly thinks about your products/solutions, as well as your competitor’s offerings, you can now apply this insight across all your marketing efforts, tactics and channels. That way, you can be sure your campaigns address current user needs, grabs attention and connects with your buyer audience.
Knowing where and when these conversations happen puts you in the loop with the people who are interested in your opinion, product or service—allowing you to engage directly with your prospects at the right time, in the right place, all year long.
Learn why Social Listening is fast becoming a corporate initiative for SMBs and Enterprises alike and why its foundational to all your marketing efforts.
To learn more about what you’re social efforts are up against check out this post.