A criticism of social media I often hear is that company owners don't understand its impact on the overall business. They don't get the point of it. And, of course, unless social media quickly translates into tangible results - increased web traffic, higher sales - then it's easy to understand why CEOs might still be sceptical about its benefits. So let me outline why I think social media has unique advantages that other marketing channels simply can't match.
Take this example. When a Social Media Manager takes control of a company's Facebook page, they will most likely set about finding and creating content that will get a lot of likes and reach a lot of people. Sounds great, right, but why do we actually do that? If you're paying somebody £x a month to take charge of your company's social media, then 500 likes on a picture is a nice thought, but it doesn't leave you any closer to recouping that investment. Or so it would seem. Have a look at the flowchart below.
Here, I've tried to visualise how and why those 500 likes will eventually translate to greater brand recognition and more traffic. The reason for the former is fairly straightforward - if 500 people share your post then your company's brand name is suddenly going to appear in thousands of people's news feeds. With an action as simple as this, you're reaching far more people than would be possible through any other marketing channel, and people are becoming more aware of your company as a result.
But how would this lead to higher website traffic? Well, let's say you're reaching 10,000 people a week with your content. Of that 10,000, there's a strong chance that a decent percentage will go ahead and follow you on social media because they're interested in the stuff you're posting about. Now fast forward a few weeks, and months, and suddenly you've got a bigger audience to post to who are there because they're interested in what you have to say. So next time it comes to directly promoting your product or service - which remains a key part of any social media strategy - you're broadcasting it to a larger, more engaged audience who are likely to listen. And that means they're more likely to clickthrough to your website from social media. It's all well and good continuously posting links to your site from day one, but it's pointless if they're only going out to a small, static and uninterested group of followers.
Through this kind of activity, you're also starting to build a relationship with potential customers. Another wishy-washy term that sounds lovely, but what does that mean in practice? To understand the benefit, I often reference my personal experience with the bookmakers Paddy Power. You only have to glance at their Facebook or Twitter to see that a pretty high percentage of stuff they post about has very little to do with encouraging you to bet on something. However, the content that they create and share is funny, timely and draws huge engagement from their millions of followers. These millions of people might not be necessarily be ready to use Paddy Power's service when they start following them, but by the time they want to place a bet on something, what do you think they will do?
- Pick a bookmakers at random.
- Choose the one which has been appearing in their News Feed with entertaining content every day?
Paddy Power might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I certainly went for option 2 when I wanted to create a betting account. And the same could well be true for your company when the people you have reached over the past weeks and months are looking for a product or service like yours.
Do you need someone who can translate those 500 likes into revenue? Then let's talk! I can help your business achieve your online goals - wherever in the world you are.