The goal of your social media isn’t necessarily to get 1000 likes, it’s to make sure that you get the right people to like you, so you can get people hired into your company, or resell your services, again, and again.
When people come into my office, and they want to talk about their social media, and develop a plan to improve it (or maybe just make it exist at all), the first thing I like to ask them is — why? Why do you want to do social media? And I’m not actually asking like: what’s wrong with you, why would you want to do social media? What I’m really trying to define is your goal with doing social media. All the other stuff, all the activities that you’re going to plan actually come after you set the goal. So let’s think a little bit, about what types of goals we might set…
First thing people tell me is they’re doing social media because their boss told them to. Delegation, while very intense, is not actually a goal. The next thing they might tell me is: Because I just want to be a part of their world! Like The Little Mermaid. But we’re not Little Mermaids. We’re actually humans. Not swimming humans… On our feet… Doing social media… It doesn’t matter. Either way, that is also not a goal. Yeah? All right. The “why” you’re doing social media is examining what problem you’re trying to solve by doing social media. People might not know you exist. So, it might be a good old fashioned branding exercise. Like placing an ad in the newspaper or in a magazine. Only the great thing about social media is that you can gauge if it’s working or not, because people can interact with your ad and click on it, and you can track it! So that’s super great. You’ll know if you’re wasting your money or your energy or not.
The next piece that I hear a lot, is that people are having trouble hiring. They can’t seem to find the right man for the job. Their goal with social media is to try to dazzle potential new hires. Younger generations can be really tricky to connect with. They are inundated with media, and quite honestly, we have been since we were born. We filter out all of that extra nonsense and only focus on the things that are important to us. So, we’re very difficult to get in front of. One of the things you can do is meet them where they are. Most websites are also built to woo potential clients, not woo potential employees. So they focus on selling your product or services, they don’t so much talk about how awesome you are to work for as a company. You can use social media as a platform to bridge the gap between what you do, because potential employees really do care about that, and who you are, which is the thing that will really impact them in their day-to-day life.
Another challenge that I hear a lot, that people are trying to solve through social media, is needing more business. Social media is a great platform and network with potential clients. You can draw in clients by showing yourself as a thought leader, and you can also establish yourself as an expert by showing off the great work that you do.
What about generating return business? Maybe their clients are “one and done”. They don’t know about all the other great things that you do. You can keep in touch with existing clients using social media. You can share company news, tips, and the great projects that you’re working on — working the same way as branding, yet also publicizing yourself.
Another challenge people are facing is when they have a great thing going on, but nobody knows about it. You’re having a difficult time getting the word out. So, you can create a buzz with social media. Maybe your press releases just aren’t cutting it anymore, and people aren’t picking you up in the news. Or, maybe you’re doing a great job blogging, but you just can’t get people to your blog. Social media offers you an inexpensive way to champion those ideas and push people back over to your website to check it out.
One last great thing that you can use your social media for is supporting your favorite local nonprofit, or community, by getting the word out in a cost effective way.
The reality about social media is it’s here to stay. It’s not a passing fad — and no the internet is not a passing fad either… 30% of Millennials engage with brands monthly, and 70% of generation X-ers buy from the brands they follow. 30% of people go to competitors brands if you ignore them on social media. So, if all of your competition is in on social media (in the sphere already) jump on in! You’re going to have to use it to compete and stay on a level playing field.
And if they’re not out there, that is so awesome, and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to tell you that you should start now. You can be a head of the curve!
All of those things could be potential reasons why you’re doing social media, and they might help lead you to the goal of why you’re doing it. Once again, making sure that you define why you’re doing social media and set an overarching goal is extremely important and the first step of the planning process.
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