Social media has never been more influential, but getting updates in front of users has never been more challenging. To shun Facebook and other networks altogether is to ignore the more than 2 billion users around the globe who rely on social media for news and updates.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Linked In are the largest and most powerful social media channels in the world. And you can add Google + if you want even though it’s not really a social channel but more of a location marker.
Why should your business care about these channels? Should your business be on ALL of them? How should a business manage social media? Stop thinking your target market can't be reached on social media. People check their social media networks countless times a day - there is a way to reach them. Here's how.
Let me start with what businesses should START doing with their social media channels.
Understand them. Make an effort to understand the pure reach of each channel. Did you know that Snapchat users access the service more than once per day, and the app ranks ahead of Twitter in terms of U.S. Millennial user engagement? Millennials are not 19 anymore. They are getting promoted to manager and director positions - they are beginning to evaluate and make decisions. Just understanding the reach of Snapchat positions your business to find a way to reach them and convert.
Get them. There’s a strategy for each channel because there is a different audience and culture on each channel. But you don’t have to get ALL of them. Be strategic in understanding why your target market may appreciate Twitter over Pinterest. Did you know that in 2014, the number of men using Pinterest doubled? Now you understand the channels, you’ve gotten the ones that reach your target market. What’s next?
Be strategic. I know it takes work to do what I’m about to suggest. But that’s one of the main issues I see with how businesses manage social media. They want one big post across all channels - hit post - and done for the day!! WRONG. Each channel has it’s own culture, audience and communication tactics. If you want to not just reach but also convert - messages need to be tailored with that in mind. Otherwise - it’s just NOISE.
Pay. Oh in the old days of Facebook and even in the early days of Twitter businesses who were savvy enough to get there first got an audience for FREE!! Even went viral in some instances. Not anymore, folks. Social media channels wised up and built advertising platforms to help businesses reach their target markets more effectively. Good content can still be effective to reach the market - but you’ll need a little financial boost if you want to move your messaging along faster and get conversions.
Hire experts. I know what you’re thinking. “But Julie,” you’re thinking, “My 15 year old niece is on the social media and she can get a post up there faster than my entire management team.” STOP WITH THAT MENTALITY. Social media is a serious marketing channel and should be evaluated and managed closely by an expert. There are countless horror stories by big brands who ignored this advice and got themselves into major public relations disasters.
And I leave you with a message we tell ALL of our clients when it comes to social media. Think of it this way. Your website is your store. It has all of your branding, products, special items, sale items and it’s all there for your customers to see. Social media is the person that interacts with the customer to see if they need any help, to offer a product or information based on what the customer may be looking for, or just to say “I’m here if you need anything.” Wouldn’t you expect your store manager to know your business, know how to sell it and keep customers engaged and coming back?
Then find the right expert for your social media.