Social media can’t be successful without a realistic level of thought and investment. If a company is using social media but doesn’t have a plan that includes the right strategy, resources, and budget, chances are that company will be missing the mark. Social media isn’t something that can be done haphazardly or once in a while. Facebook is littered with company pages that do nothing to encourage customer engagement or brand loyalty.
According to Forrester Research, consumers don’t trust most corporate blogs. First, the opinions expressed are those of the company, not independent consumers. Most blogs provide very little engagement, if any, and they don’t seem to correlate to other marketing strategies. This failure to engage in a meaningful way might stem from some of the common myths surrounding social media.
Myth #1—Social media is about the conversation
Social media fosters conversation, but that can’t be the goal of a social media strategy. The conversation only matters if it leads to a business goal like attracting new customers, building awareness, fostering brand loyalty, or increasing revenue and retention. If social media chatter is a goal in and of itself, business benefits are lost. A company needs to carefully think through its social media strategy, making sure that it is aligned with higher level goals and can deliver the desired results.
Myth #2—Social media is free
Working with social media takes time and staffing. Companies like Intel and Dell are dedicating dozens of people solely to social media–related activities, and those people cost money and put considerable time into their work. Businesses taking on social media need to believe in its potential and see a compelling business reason to devote so many of their resources to it.
Myth #3—Social media campaigns have a clear beginning and end
Many marketing campaigns have clear start and end points, but not social media. There is no end, because chatter continues even after the posts and tweets have stopped. So instead of thinking of social media as a finite campaign, think of it as a way to get people to talk about your brand and to find out what people are saying about your products and company.
Myth #4—Social media can’t be measured
Because of its open and organic nature, it is often thought that social media can’t be measured. This is not the case. To use social media effectively, you must first understand customer behavior. You need to look at what people are doing across channels and become familiar enough with meaningful patterns that you can leverage these in your social media program. Setting up good metrics with effective measurement tools that provide data and measure results is just as important with social media as with other marketing campaigns.
Source: Brian Watkins – Adobe