Is Social Media Valuable?
There was a time when social media was just a way to connect with friends. But over the years, both due to its popularity as well as its wide reaching audience, it has become a viable resource to spread the word about your product and/or services, as well as reach new customers, not only in your local community, but also around the world.
But while social media, on the surface, appears simple, it is as complex as a full blown advertising campaign, or should be. It’s not enough to simply post now and then, and in many instances, posting too much is a detriment. Your social media plan should be thought out, with consideration given to the type of audience you want to reach, their habits and who they follow as well.
Suffice it to say, it takes time.
What’s The Difference Between Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc?
Each platform has it’s own style, and thus it’s own users and audience. Below we try to outline the differences:
Facebook has become the go-to social media platform for almost all purposes. Worldwide, there are over 1.49 billion monthly active users (Source: Facebook 5/30/15), and the average time spent on Facebook is 20 minutes. In comparison, a casual web site visitor spends an average of 58 seconds on a website.
This doesn’t mean you should dump your website and focus on Facebook. They are two entirely different animals, and both need to be fed. Facebook serves two purposes, according to Boston University’s Ashwini Nadkarni and Stefan G. Hofmann: 1) the need to belong, and 2) the need for self-presentation. The first item is good for you to capitalize on, the second is something you need to embrace.
Your involvement in Facebook should embrace both concepts. First, you should use the platform to discover what your followers follow themselves, what they like, where they go, what they do. This data is invaluable to understanding how to present your brand to them. Secondarily, you should find ways to present yourself and your brand in a way that entices and informs your audience. It’s not good enough to post something about every event you are having. Followers will become bored, and you risk the threat of the dreaded “un-follow”.
Think of why you, as a customer, would read and follow your own page. Are you looking for good suggestions on local happenings? Do you want to see how the product is made? There’s a key to making the best use of Facebook, but that key is different for every user.
If Facebook is the Latte of the online world, then Twitter is the single shot. Twitter by its very setup, the use of only 140 characters in a Tweet, is designed for conversations, quick comments and an active, ongoing engagement. Where most people hop on and off Facebook throughout the day, active Twitter users check back frequently so that they can keep tabs on conversations or updates from more prolific tweeters.
But despite the heavier appetite, it’s still important to tweet smart. Follow and generate conversations with influencers in your business or market (even if you think YOU are the influencer), re-tweet interesting posts, use video and images to attract attention, and generally engage. Being a lurker on Twitter (someone who just reads and never posts) is counter productive if you are trying to use the service for business.
Wondering if it’s worth the trouble? Here are a few numbers to show you the value of Twitter:
Activity by Twitter Users
visited or shopped at the websites of the businesses they follow
purchased from a business because of something they saw on Twitter
Like so many new online tools, it’s taken some time for people to understand how to use Instagram for business. In truth, it’s far less of a sales tool than you might think, but might also have the greatest strength of them all.
What’s the number one thing people hate about advertising? Being sold! That’s why so many commercials and advertisements are visual. They create a mood or style around the brand, without overtly forcing the product down your throat. In using Instagram you need to choose just how you are going to present yourself, then stick with that style. It’s a visual platform, meaning it’s all about pictures for the most part, so deciding to use Instagram to only show funny pictures of dogs that come into your shop, or a unique view of your business that people will enjoy may not seem like selling, but you are creating a mood and making a statement about your business.
There are certainly other platforms out there, and each has its benefits to a business. But trying to engage them all from the beginning, even with a company like us to help, is foolish. Make plans to tackle just one, and you’re business will grow because of it.
We Can Help!
We realize it takes time to support a social media program. But between growing your business, running your business and hoping to sleep a little each day, you simply have to draw the line somewhere. That’s where we come in. Our reasonably priced, monthly packages will help you keep on top of social media without breaking the bank. Click below to see how!