No doubt, nearly every brand of all sizes have taken to using social media to promote their products or services. Few, however, really take this marketing opportunity seriously.
“Wait a minute”…you say… “we take Facebook very seriously!” Maybe you do. Consider this:
If your goal is to get a specific number of followers on Facebook as your measure of success – you’re not taking social media seriously. Creating a fan page to use as a broadcast channel is not taking it seriously. Launching social games and giveaways to attract new fans without following through on their real interest is not taking it seriously.
It’s important to remember – participation is not engagement. Social media isn’t about the exploitation of the technology, but rather a vehicle to enable you to be a service to the community.
At this time of year, it’s a good time to take a look at your social media outreach and ask yourself if you’re really serious about it – or just using it (and your audience). But how can you change your thinking and actions toward opportunities like Facebook and still capitalize on its potential and impact? Here’s a few ways:
1. Quit thinking of, and treating your friends and followers as customers. Think of them as human beings that are searching for meaning and relationships.
2. No one owes you any brand loyalty just because you happen to have achieved fame. Trust is difficult to earn, and even harder to maintain.
3. Listen. Listen to what your community is saying. When they’re asking you a question, they are also telling you something.
4. Focus on long-term results, not short-term gains. Like any relationship, the lasting ones take time to develop and nurture.
5. We want to know who you really are – so tell us. We don’t care what your brand produces, but more about how it can help us. Don’t forget that people want to know “why” even before they know “what”.
6. You’re likely an amateur – accept it. No matter what your place in the market is, it’s likely to be challenged and changed over time as technology changes. And it will change quickly.
7. Make your technology human. We exchange emotions via social media – use that to your advantage.
10. Be Real. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Transparency and authenticity are the cornerstones to lasting social media results.
Still, many brands will dismiss social media as a trending hype. But the ability to connect with new people in an instant, sharing their lives through words, photos and video is a new paradigm in brand marketing. It can transform the way you do business – and the way you’re perceived. Don’t let it slip past you.
How will you use social media in the year ahead? Do you have a plan? We want to hear about it!