There are reasons why social media works, but, given certain demands, it won’t work. Here are the principles at play and 10 reasons social media builds business; 4 things it doesn’t do.
10 REASONS SOCIAL MEDIA BUILDS BUSINESS
- IMPROVES SEARCH RANKING: Social media outposts (e.g. blog, Facebook, Twitter) created or added to your website can improve search rank significantly. That’s because the extra touch points and publishing frequency drive not only traffic but establish “links” Google uses to establish “authority,” their primary criteria for a high search rank. In fact, 97% of companies report higher search rankings by adding a blog to their website (source: comScore).
- FINDS KEY TARGETS: You can find any target by almost any characteristic (e.g. interest, demographics, location, health conditions, product usage, 1-to-1 relationships) using available social search tools. I’ve connected with people through social media that would have never been possible otherwise. One, for example, is Kim Kardashian. I reached Kim through a blog at the bottom of this page. I don’t think an e-mail or a phone call would have worked.
- KEEPS PULSE ON YOUR INDUSTRY, COMPETITORS AND BRAND: Just like you can find key targets, you can and should listen to what they say about your industry, competitors and brand. Recently, for a client, we found out through “mommy bloggers” about pending legislation that ended up having a big business impact. Amazing what you can find on the internet.
- ACHIEVES SPEED TO MARKET: Many businesses believe being “first mover” is an important competitive advantage. Social outposts can be established in a matter of days and updated in real time.
- IDENTIFIES RETURN ON INVESTMENT: Social Media Examiner says the #1 question people ask is: How do I measure social media ROI? Since you asked, three blogs down, are “100 measurements for social media ROI.” I hope there are some that work for your business.
- LOWERS INTERNAL COSTS: From communications to customer services to CRM, examples abound where social media is integrated into these services to deliver a bigger pay-offs at lower costs.
- OPTIMIZES AND SCALES: There’s nothing static about social media; it’s meant to be acted upon with learning. Listen, connect and engage are the activities. Increase what’s working and pull on what’s not are the actions.
- BUILDS TRUST: People like to do business with people they know and social media gives people the chance to get to know and trust you. 86% of people trust a recommendation from someone in their social media circle; only 14% trust advertising (source: Nielsen).
- DISCOVERS NEW BUSINESS BUILDING IDEAS: By 2013, Forrester predicts most new products and services will come to market because consumers will tell companies through social media what they want. Wouldn’t you want to be ahead of the curve?
- MAKES YOUR PASSION CONTAGIOUS: If you’re passionate about what you do and offer, social media can make others feel like you do. A friend from Milwaukee, owner Joe Sorge of burger establishment, AJ Bombers, increases weekly sales +25% with Twitter. But, as Joe will tell you, “if I didn’t believe AJ Bombers makes the best burger on the planet, social media wouldn’t accomplish a thing.”
4 THINGS IT DOESN’T DO
- SUBSTITUTES FOR A BUSINESS STRATEGY: You don’t need a social media strategy. You need a business strategy. The role of social media is to amplify it. Social media can help you if you don’t have one.
- ESTABLISHES AN AUDIENCE OVERNIGHT: Your audience builds as you publish worthwhile content and engage; it doesn’t just appear. You’ll find watching where, how and why it builds is actually is fun and valuable learning.
- IS FREE (OR VERY LOW COST): Time is money and someone has to plan, set-up, publish and analyze. Whether you do it or someone does it for you, the medium may be low cost but the time of someone(s) or some company who know what they’re doing isn’t.
- SUCCEEDS WITHOUT COMMITMENT: Without company buy-in and commitment to resources, the presence, content and momentum that make social media work isn’t going to happen. So, if the thought occurs to just set up Facebook and Twitter pages and use them as a home for uninteresting press releases to check off the box, please reconsider social media.
Is this in line with the reasons you thought social media might work build business for your brand? Anything you would add?