Social Media Traps to Avoid or Does Social Media Really Work?
Does Social Media really work? This is a question that is asked a lot. Most businesses understand that a social media marketing campaign eventually will produce ROI. However, many are not quite sure on how to approach this medium or what it takes to measure the return. One thing is certain; most business owners will agree that a social media strategy is necessary and makes sense.
Let’s look at some statistics:
- 52% of all marketers have found a customer via Facebook in 2013 (Source: HubSpot)
- The fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55 to 64 age bracket (Source: Business Insider)
- Every second two new people join LinkedIn (Source: Business Insider)
- 49% of marketers selected Facebook as the single most important social platform for their business (Source: Social Media Examiner)
- 89% of marketers said that social media has generated more exposure for their business and 75% reported positive results. (Source: Mediabistro)
- At least 62% of businesses with 10 or fewer employees agreed that social media reduced marketing expenses. (Source: Mediabistro)
Considering this why is social media so frustrating to many businesses? Believe it or not there are actually businesses that don’t want to deal with it even though they understand that this could be quite a powerful marketing outlet. Here are five Social Media traps that could be of concern and should be avoided:
1. Social Media takes too much time…
If you are not careful Social Media can be a time hog. One can get lost with all the things that go on and before you know several hours have passed without having done any constructive entries, not to mention taking care of your business. Try to only check in once or twice a day for no more than a half an hour to reduce your time spent on the social media platform. Developing a set routine and to stick to it will get things done and definitely helps save you time.
2. There is no Social Media marketing plan in place…
As with any approach you need a Social Media strategy. Analyze if your target audience is on social media and on which one. Not every business works on Pinterest or Instagram for example. Find out who your customer is and then target them on the social media platform that is most likely used by them. It does not make sense to be on Facebook when your target audience prefers LinkedIn.
3. Sporadic and short term posting…
A successful Social Media campaign does not necessarily deliver monetary return but it is measured on the impact it creates. By creating regular and relevant entries your brand is constantly in front of your audience. Material that is of interest will be read and ultimately will be shared. This is a great way of increasing your reach. Social Media is a slow and long term process that if done correctly will pay off. The trick is to stick to it with regular and relevant entries.
4. What about metrics…
Examining the metrics for your Social Media campaigns will help you find out how you are doing. Google Analytics are free and will give you excellent data to evaluate. Facebook just recently updated their Page Insights and it is absolutely amazing what kind of statistics you can gather from there. Make use of these tools and evaluate your campaigns often to see if they meet your marketing goals. Also measure if visitors are becoming customers or if their connections are being made aware of your page. Monitor how much time it takes for the social media lead to become part of your sales circle. Don’t forget to see who is attracted to your page and if it is the target audience you were thinking of. You can measure leads, traffic and conversion rates and combining these metrics with a little know-how you could actually tie an actual dollar amount to the progress of your social media campaign. Considering all this you should be able to have a pretty good idea of how your social media marketing campaign is driving sales and revenue.
5. Make sure you’re the expert in your field …
Remember it is your business and the first impression counts. Focus on business related and relevant material. Social Media is a place where you and your business have a chance to shine as the expert in your field and it also gives you an edge over your competition.
If you cannot do the entries yourself it may be a good idea to assign the task of producing content to a seasoned marketer who understands marketing and most importantly your business.
Back to our initial question: Does social media really work? The answer would be yes however you have to stick to it and have a social media marketing plan. Develop a plan from one month to the next? At the end of each period evaluate the metrics which should be telling you if you are on the right track or not.
One thing is sure … Social media is not a quick fix it takes time and I can’t say it often enough you have to stick to it. There is no doubt if done on a regular basis over a long period you will see results.
Let us know what you think about this subject. We are curious to learn about your experiences.