Social Media is still new to the marketing game, yet many still don’t believe spending time on Facebook or Twitter (other social platforms are available) is a useful and effective use of their time or that it works for business.
Which I understand… to a point.
It can come across as a lot of effort for little gain and we have survived for many years without it, so why is Social Media still executed with bated breath?
Has this question been asked out of curiosity, time allowance or restriction, hesitancy or uncertainty? As all of which are valid reasons as to why Social Media is still untrusted.
Why would someone ask this question?
Many Business Owners ask us (at Koogar) this question, especially when they feel like Social Media is a burden they don’t wish to encounter or undertake. It’s yet another job we (as Business Owners and Marketing Managers) need to add to our “To Do Lists”, along with book keeper, new business development, sales team and so on.
I understand that Social Media is actually hard to do. It’s constant (and feels relentless at times), needs to be consistent but different every time, as well as interesting, engaging, likable, shareable to name but a few of the outcomes we want from the efforts we are putting in.
All of it about us, our business and why we are different.
In the small to medium business world, most are not those who like to put themselves out in the public eye. We worry about several things when it comes to sharing information about ourselves, our business, our prices and some of the other awkward questions we are asked on a daily basis, but we know we SHOULD be doing it.
And the answer is…
But the question here is… “can a business survive without Social Media?”
The simple answer to this question is “Yes”! If done with…
- Careful Consideration
- A Solid Strategy
- Precise Planning
- Committed Implementation
On a negative…
Social Media brings up several feelings for people BEFORE we talk about business. On a negative slant, we think about;
- Fear of missing out, failure, success
- Unrealistic expectations
On a positive slant we’ve seen Social Media bring us and others;
- Opportunity at a local and global sphere
- Awareness of self, others (and brand of course)
- Enhanced communication – being able to speak and having our own voice about things we may not be able to speak about privately
- New business – people learning about who you are, what you do and who you can help them
- Relationship building – by bringing us closer together with people we may not see regularly
- Learning – about what’s happening with the people you are connected to, from the news
- Collaboration – working with others and their audiences
- Connectivity to family, friends, acquaintances, the world and feeling included
- Discovery of new things you could get involved with, become, teach, learn…
Other thoughts consist of…
Not knowing what to share, when to share it, who is listening or watching, who is interested or bothered to read your content are to say but a few of the questions that go through the heads of Business Owners and the Marketing Managers who have to report back to their team leader, manager or boss to justify the work they are doing on Social Media is actually fore the business and not to the detriment of the business.
- Social media doesn’t work (at this point please define your understanding of “working”)
- Only for the youth of today are the only ones using it
- It is a waste of time
- The newest method of communication is the holy grail to marketing
- It’s the only thing you should be doing as traditional methods don’t work any more
All of these would be right!
Right as in, some social media doesn’t work but that’s because of the content you are creating or that you haven’t got the right people following you.
And because of this, we sometimes think “is it worth it?” Should I be spending my time where I’m not getting results or where this platform can go with a blink of an eye?
This is where Integrated Marketing comes in, but lets answer these questions first.
Top 4 questions/statements about Social Media and how it works for business
1. Is Social Media a waste of time?
Which could be true and this would be because you’re not focused on the task at hand, the content you should be creating, the audience you want to get in front of and how to influence them to choose you or invested enough time to give your audience what they need.
It will most certainly be a waste of time.
This isn’t about the more you put in the more you get out. You have to put the time, effort in by delivering the quality people want to see.
2. Social Media is only for the young ones!
This is certainly an old school train of thought. Yes, the young ones use it more than the most mature generations as we were brought up in a different time. We didn’t have so much information at our finger tips.
The next generation (the young ones) are our new clients, new team members and the way the communicate is via Social. Not being there limits your efforts of getting into new markets quickly as well as getting brand recognition, as other businesses within your industry will be there before you and smashing it on social.
3. Is it the Holy Grail?
To certain types of companies, yes, because their audience is the younger generation who have been brought up with Social Media, don’t notice anything else but digital content, as well as what happens when it stops working, goes down or has a big update that leaves you not being able to do anything?
HOWEVER, every business still needs a brand, a website and marketing materials, elements and activities so they are being seen in the places where their audience expects them to be.
4. Traditional marketing methods don’t work…
I get this said to me nearly EVERY time I have a meeting and there are two reasons for this;
You’re either not;
Not doing them correctly.
Let’s take a magazine advert for example; most people, when putting an advert in a magazine have their logo so big and only a little content about what they do. At the point of the reader seeing your advert, they may not even know who you are never mind want to take you on. You haven’t put on a tracking telephone number or set up a specific email address just for your adverts to know if it is working or not.
Thus, meaning your expectations are so high and the thoughts of people buying from you will just happen because they have seen the advert, you are disheartened when you get no results, leading you to think nothing works because you’re not getting the results you wanted.
Or your target audience isn’t there to see what you are up to. You need to spend more time understanding who “your people” are so you know where you should be spending the money, time and resources.
EVERYTHING you do to market yourself and your business HAS TO have the customer at the centre of it. What do they want and need to see, read, watch, touch, feel? This isn’t about you, its about them and their requirements.
What would happen if you did leave Social Media?
I doubt your clients would leave you for someone else who is on Social Media, but you would need to put more efforts into other marketing channels to ensure your clients see you on a regular basis and are not coheres into thinking your competitor(s) is better than you.
Email Marketing would certainly become a critical marketing element to your marketing methods and your websites and content marketing game would need to be upped.
How else would you use your time, now that you have it back from not doing Social?
Where is your audience and how do you need to concentrate your efforts on getting in front of them?
Risks if you did leave Social Media
There are always risks when you make change, but instead of concentrating on the negative, let’s be proactive and think positive by planning your success.
Here are 7 questions you should ask yourself if this is something you are planning on doing
- Touch points – which touch points will you have in your business if social media is put to one side?
- Brand awareness – how will you extend your brand awareness?
- Communication – how will you communicate about your new products, services, events and business?
- Sharing – how will you get your audience sharing the content you create, emails and images for you
- Expectations – do most people/clients expect you to be on social? Have you asked them?
- Search results – what will you put in place to ensure your search results don’t disappear
- Lead funnel – how are your leads effected by this move
As I mentioned before, Social Media isn’t the holy grail and if you were to stop it your business wouldn’t stop, you would just need a tighter strategy and plan to stick to, to get the results you are after.
Social media does help in the growth of a business but most of the time we can’t see it because it hasn’t turned up in our banks.
This turns up in the way of;
- Lerkers or observers
- Private messages
- Questions being asked
- FB Live watchers
- Website hits
- Out of the blue cold calls
We need to realise as buyers, we don’t buy from people just because we have seen your post, image or email. We have bought because we have been through a series of thoughts, processes, reviews, objections and observations that have led us to you!
The lack of engagement doesn’t mean people are not watching you or can see what you are up to!
This is called the Customer Journey. We all do this, every time we look to buy something. The bigger the cost of it the longer the process takes.
Tracking the invisible growth is essential because the invisible growth turns into cash once the customer journey has been satisfied to THEIR standards, not yours!
Worst case scenario
How would your business fair all Social Media is gone as of tomorrow? You turn your phone on to find that all apps have been removed, websites don’t show up in your browser… Nothing.
How would your business communicate then?
Have you built up an Integrated Marketing strategy and plan that allows your business to have less of an impact of your daily routine?
Stop and “Take a knee”
Taking a step back, reviewing and reflecting is what we all must do as Business Owner’s but also ensure we are on the right track of our business.
Sometimes we just get carried away or complacent about where we are without ever reviewing our situation. You genuinely may hate social or are not getting results even with all the efforts you are putting in, which is why I’m going to suggest taking a digital detox or social break.
See how it works out for you and review your current situation over a month at the very least.
You being off social personally doesn’t count, it’s not the same. I’m talking about no pages, groups or profile action for a least a month for your business.
What’s your next step?
It’s a big decision to stop social but also nice to detox from something you are not gaining from.
Let me know your thoughts, ideas, observations about this and if stopping social is for you or not…