Succeeding on Social Media: Separating Expectations and Realities

October 17, 2013 Kirsten Thornton

 

Social Media Concept

It's natural to want to socialize. For some, it's a way of life, while a guilty pleasure for others. Social media has grown and is now affecting marketing strategies for businesses everywhere. Being able to speak to masses and plant a seed has allowed companies to grow in ways they used to only dream of. Most business owners will say they want a presence on social media while they really have no idea what the buzz is about.

So What's Next?

'I can pay someone to post on social media and blog for me?! Sign me up!' The end.

Let's Backtrack

Think back to the buzz around social media. That buzz is the social portion taking place. Paying a company to post on your behalf usually just handles the media portion. Yes, social media has the ability to really link consumers to your product, but it does not happen effortlessly. Look over this easy checklist to see if you're off to the right start:

  • Do you have goals? (Realistic ones)
  • Are you interacting with others? (On your social media profiles)
  • Have you done anything special? (Think along the lines of promotions or contests)

Starting off on the Right Foot

Setting goals for your social media campaign doesn't have to mean gaining more followers or getting retweeted. Your first goal could be to respond to one person or to post a photo from around the office. Remember, you're trying to achieve the mere act of being social. So here's another handy list to give you an idea of what consumers are looking for on social media:

  • Support or guidance: solicit customer feedback, offer support, or share ideas
  • Conversations that spark ideas: don't just sit back and watch, and don't be afraid to start a dialogue
  • Committed interactions: while others are spitting out facts, make sure your posts are convenient for multiple devices, relevant for your audience, and emotional-join in on funny memes or cute animal pics
  • Humans: social media is not the same as face-to-face communication, but consumers need to understand the depth of your company-post employees, the office, webinars, or other customers that use your product

Understand the Commitment

Now that you know where to start and how to interact with your fans, be sure you don't let the numbers consume you. Social media has value that isn't always reflected by increases in followers. Improving customer relationships and gaining loyal fans can improve your business far more than any number of followers alone. Having good customer relationships is one of the main benefits of social media. This is why anyone can handle the media part, but the social half is really up to you.

 

 

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About the Author

Kirsten Thornton

Having always been a computer nerd, Kirsten Thornton works on the HTML and CSS that drives Insurance Website Builder websites. Before joining ITC in 2010, Kirsten had the unique experience of attending Loyola University in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit. The storm left the school with costly repairs and lower attendance so she switched majors to graphic design when computer science got cut. Kirsten balances a mixture of back-end coding, front-end designing, New Orleans culture, and Texas pride.

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