Social media has been a critical piece of the brand-building puzzle for so many years now that you’d think its value no longer needs explaining.
Yet every time I think we’ve reached the point where explanations are unnecessary, something occurs that reminds me that maybe that moment hasn’t arrived just yet.
In fact, just recently we had a conversation with a new client who was trying to understand why social media is valuable to his branding efforts. To his credit, he really was trying to get it, that’s why he signed up for it. He just needed some reassurance, as do many people who aren’t exactly sure of its value to their overall marketing strategy.
I think that too often people or businesses launch a social media campaign with great enthusiasm, but lose steam quickly when they don’t see instant results. They’re often looking at social media as a lead generator or as a direct-sell campaign, and it’s simply not that.
Instead, social media is a way to build brand recognition over time by getting your name or your company’s name out there, staying in front of potential customers, clients or readers on a daily basis.
While I don’t like using clichés, this is truly a marathon, not a sprint; something that you’re in for the long haul.
Let’s take a look at a few aspects of social media and why you have to be there!
- Social media supports your other marketing efforts. A social media presence is just one of the many things you should be doing to build or promote your brand. Ideally, you want a multi-channel approach, including publicity and advertising, to give your target audience lots of ways to learn about you. Your efforts in social media will complement those other efforts and you can cross promote. For example, if you’re going to be interviewed on a talk radio show tomorrow, you can mention that on social media so your followers will know to tune in.
- Reach. When you use social media, your name and your brand are being spread not just down the street and across town, but well beyond the limits of most of your other marketing. That’s the beauty of social media. You can make connections far and wide, extending your messaging to a larger audience.
- Why you should like “likes.” The value in having likes is actually twofold. First, if I’m learning something from your page, it’s providing value to me. That keeps me coming back. This is why it’s important to add new content regularly so that you keep your followers interested and engaged. Otherwise, the old idea of “out of sight, out of mind” comes into play. Second, it’s an opportunity to eventually sell to someone who isn’t yet convinced about or doesn’t yet have the need for what you’re offering. Eventually a need will arise and after all the trust and value you’ve provided over time you’ll be there to fulfill their need.
Also, it’s worth remembering that the potential audience is huge because the number of people on social media is staggering, with 78 percent of Americans having a profile on some social media channel. Worldwide, nearly 2 billion people are on social media.
And, as I’ve said on a few occasions before, there are no age barriers. You’ll find the young, old and middle-aged there, all actively engaged and many of them checking in daily to see who’s posting what.
When you ignore social media, you’ve ignored an extraordinarily large audience for whatever it is your offering. Like it or not, you need to be there, just as involved and engaged as all those other people.
Do you follow me?
P.S. If you need professional help with your social media efforts, give us a call at 727-443-7115 ext. 215.