Social media has now become a popular and profitable marketing tool for the new and inexperienced entrepreneurs. Establishing an account and building an audience costs only time, and most platforms offer reasonably priced advertising options for those who want a little extra push.
However, social media as a marketing channel isn’t to be taken lightly, nor is it a guaranteed win for your business. To be successful, you need to be aware of social media’s limitations as well as its abilities and to have a clear strategy throughout your campaign.
Here are five considerations about social media that you shouldn’t forget when you’re focusing on the possibility of rewarding results.
1. This is a long-term investment.
Social media makes things happen fast by helping people to communicate with one other instantly, and stories can go viral overnight itself. This fast pace might at times lead you to believe that you’ll see fast-paced results, but do always remember that the proper use of social media is a long-term investment.
Your followers might not buy from you for weeks, months or years, but the more time you invest in building a relationship with them and attracting new followers, the greater your chances for conversions. If you judge the success or failure of your campaign after only a month of activity or invest only in short-term bursts of activity, you’ll compromise your potential long-term gains.
2. You are not the only entrepreneur who’s thought of this.
It’s good that you have realized the potential value of social media marketing, but remember you certainly aren’t alone. Many of your competitors are probably already involved in one way or another, and that means much of your potential online audience is likely already involved with a competitor.
To overcome this, make one of your biggest responsibilities that of differentiating yourself. It’s not enough to be active, attentive, informative or entertaining (though those are important qualities). You also have to be different. Research your competitors to see what strategies and angles they’re using, and come up with a unique alternative strategy.
3. The numbers can’t tell you everything.
The longer you invest in a social media strategy, the more fixated you will become on raw numbers. I’ve experienced this firsthand and know it can blind you to more important truths.
However, this number can’t ever tell you how loyal, active or even interested these followers are in your brand. Similarly, your social traffic numbers can never tell you how engaged your visitors are, and your share counts can’t tell you the reputation value of your content. Numbers are useful, but remember, “they can never give you the full picture” .
4. It’s called ‘social’ media for a reason.
Unfortunately, some entrepreneurs neglect the “social” element of social media. While, people use these apps to interact with one another and engage in meaningful dialogue. At the end of the day, they won’t tolerate any one-way conversations. If all you are doing is syndicating the content, scheduling new posts or advertising products, you will be neglecting the source of most social media success i.e. audience interaction.
Ask your audience questions. Answer theirs. Thank them for sharing. Reply to their comments. Treat them as you would your friends or family members. Don’t think of social media as a podium for your speech; instead, do think of it as an open table of conversation in a coffee shop.
5. Social media works best as a complement to other strategies.
It may be possible to see marketing success in a strategy exclusively focused on social media, but this is not common. Social media works best when it is used in harmony with other strategies that enhance your online reputation.
So, look for social opportunities in each of your other strategies, and weave them together into a unified online presence instead of trying to develop an exclusive social media strategy,
Do always remember these key qualities and considerations about social media, and your campaign will be far more likely to succeed. Establish your goals early and work hard, but don’t get lost in the little details that drive most entrepreneurs crazy: follower counts, posting frequency, and meticulous detailing.
These things are not as important as building an invested community and keeping that community engaged and feeling loved. Simpler is often better in this world of social media, so don’t let yourself be blinded by ambitions or misconceptions.
“We wish the budding entrepreneurs a good luck for their social media marketing strategy.”