The bad news I’m about to tell you is going to HELP you in the long run. If your company is using social media to propel your business to the next level, there’s an 88% chance that the people behind that push have no idea what they are doing. That’s a tough thing to hear for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a fairly large percentage. Secondly, paying social media gurus can be expensive, so you expect them to know what they are doing.
Social media is the future of marketing, networking, and getting businesses seen, so when we see companies that are all over Facebook and Twitter, they must have vast amounts of social media genius behind them, right? Surely they all have some sort of data to scientifically tell them what’s working and what is absolutely NOT working, right? WRONG.
The truth is that, according to the Harvard Business Review, only 12% of companies feel that they are using social media effectively to reach their online audiences. That means that 88% know they are not doing a good job of effectively harnessing the power of social media and using it to positively impact their brand.
Hope Is Not a Strategy
Many businesses today are using hope as a strategy for success, and successful businessmen and women everywhere will tell you that hope is NOT a strategy. It’s time to get smart about social media. If your company is flinging things onto your social platform and relying on the “fingers-crossed” method, it’s likely you won’t see a lot of success. While social media may seem like a daunting mountain for those who have not attempted it or for those who are only used to the bunny slopes, it’s time to gear up and tackle the tougher runs.
The Good News
Now that I've given you the bad news, it’s time for a little good news. If 88% of companies truly don’t know what they are doing when it comes to social media, it means this is your chance! By jumping in and learning everything you can about how to make your business and your brand successful with social media, you will be well on your way to joining the 12% that are already leveraging the power of social media. You’ll be ahead of the game and ahead of all the others who are still hanging out in the 88%.
Get in the game and learn about the tools that can help your business as you start to use social media to its fullest. Check out a few of the common best practices below:
Choose your playground. There is an abundance of social media sites out there, and you can’t be in all of them at once—not effectively anyway. Choose the places where you are going to play, and post regularly.
Plan your posts. Don’t just post randomly, but think things through and engage your consumers in relevant ways.
Use analytics and data. These tools are available to you, so take a look at who is checking out your posts, when they are looking, and what they like.
Interact with your followers. Ask questions, throw out a fun quiz or survey every now and then, ask for funny pics or captions…you get the idea. Your followers will enjoy knowing you are available to interact with them.
Visual media rules. Your followers will enjoy videos and pictures more than just words. Entertain with a variety of mediums.
It’s not all about selling. Let your followers get to know you, and post relevant and timely updates.
Do your research. Social media changes as fast as you can blink, so stay up-to-date with what’s going on. (Here’s a hint: let Google be your best friend.)
Bad news is no fun, but luckily this time it comes with good news, too. Many companies find themselves lost in the 88% that don’t know what they are doing, so make sure you are using social media to your best advantage. It’s a powerful tool that can set you miles ahead of your competition if used correctly. It’s much better to hang out with the 12% of social media gurus who are making social work wonders for their brands!