Q: Hey Gabe, I have a couple questions for you and I want you to tell it to me straight. Why do I keep hearing people harp about how good social media is? It’s just not working for me. Can you please tell me why and what to do about it?
A: I understand your frustrations with having to use social media for your business. People throw the words ‘social media’ around as if it is easy to get started and keep up with. It is no wonder some people try it and quickly become frustrated. The main reason why most people fail at social media is they don’t fully understand what social media is all about or how to go about using it properly. Hopefully, by the time you finish reading this piece, you will have a firm grasp of the concepts behind social media and how to go about it the right way.
Make Your Presence Known Online
Social media is very important to most businesses. At this time, it may not be crucial to the survival of every business, but it is important nonetheless. Having a strong social media presence is very much like having a mobile phone. Gone are the days when people argue that they can do without mobile phones. They may have always been able to do without them in the past, but how true is that in today’s world? Mobile phones are not some passing fad or novelty in the same sense that social media has come to stay for the long haul. While having a social media presence may not make or break your business, it’s important to help your business run easier and smoother. It goes without saying that the earlier you make social media a part of your marketing strategy, the better your business will be.
Don’t Force People to Buy from You
This is not what social media is all about. Posting ‘buy now’ all over your Facebook and Twitter page is not going to get the results you are looking for. Instead, you will have little to no sales and receive mostly negative comments for your efforts. The point of social media is not to sell directly, but rather to build trust with your target audience. I usually think of social media marketing as a means of providing your customers with quality content while casually and indirectly mentioning that you have products they can buy if they’re interested. This is not hard to accomplish once you show people that you are a real person and that you legitimately care about your customers.
Don’t Expect to Gain Thousands of Visitors All at Once
This is not to say that you shouldn’t use social media in order to get traffic. You absolutely should. The problem that many companies face lies in them making a single post and expecting thousands of people to read the post immediately and start flocking to their website as a result. It simply doesn’t work that way.
You need to understand that people are creatures of habit and they do things for a reason. You need to give them a good reason to share or click on your posts. What is in it for them? The way it works is that people will click on your posts if it answers a question or provides them with some sort of benefit. Even if the benefit is just that they feel others will enjoy reading the post. Regardless of what users find important, they will share your post if it provides them with some form of value. It is not just your posts or your tweets that drive the traffic; it is the content that attracts the traffic. So, if you write well and with a purpose, you will get traffic much faster than if you write randomly or on the spur of the moment.
Social Media is not a Revolution
Social media is not a completely new and novel idea. It is not a revolution; it is more of an evolution. There’s nothing new about marketing; the only difference is the way in which it has evolved. What I’m trying to say is that it is unwise to give up all of your other marketing efforts in order to concentrate solely on social media. There are better ways of doing things. For example, rarely do you see a big company pull down their billboards just because they have a Facebook account. The best way to go about social media is to combine it with other tried and trusted marketing methods. In other words, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Social media is not a magic wand that will get you all the massive traffic you want just because you post random thoughts on your page. It is important to understand that social media platforms are places for interaction, trust, friendship, feedback, and much more. Once you understand this, the rest will take care of itself.