What some bosses don’t get about social media
We’re in this weird moment in time where entrepreneurs and start-ups have leveraged social media to build brand awareness yet old-school corporations haven’t fully utilized or grasped the principles of effective social media.
For millennials working in colonial atmospheres, this can be very frustrating. You’re fighting an uphill battle of the way things were versus the way things are now. Some organizational leaders can be a bit too nostalgic in thinking that they are immune to the social media bug and that they can continue conducting business like they did in the 80’s. Wake up! Millennials, the generation who was first introduced to social media, are your next big spenders. Therefore, you need to follow the money.
Here’s what old-school bosses don’t get about social media.
When corporations jumped onto social media platforms they plastered it with “BUY’ and “DISCOUNT” posts. Yes, in all caps like they were screaming at you. Millennials thought, “you’re not my mother; don’t tell me what to do.” Before you can ask for anything you need to provide value through content first. Have a conversation with your target market. Get to know them. Then and only then, ask them to buy something from you.
Start with content which is valuable to your target audience. If you sell bird feed, teach them how to build a bird house by way of a YouTube video or advise which bird feeds works best based on the time of year and geographical location by way of a blog post.
Engagement is key
I see this all the time and it drives me crazy. Some people are pumping out loads of content. But they’re taking no time to engage with their followers. They don’t like their pictures; they don’t comment on their posts. Users love to feel liked, literally. Don’t focus solely on spitting out content. That’s like having a conversation with someone who only talks about themselves. Focus on liking your followers and engaging with their posts so that they’ll love you.
Relevance and context wins
Your target audience does not live in a bubble where they only consume your type of product or service. They have lives, struggles, and other interests. Know what these are and connect with them. If an icon for your target market has passed away, don’t launch your new promotion that day. Firstly, it will be overshadowed with the outpouring of focus on someone else and secondly, it’s insensitive. Social media isn’t about blasting out advertisements like a fire hose. It’s about connecting with your audience and proving to them that you can relate to them.
Thought influencers are driving consumer purchases
There is a rise of influencers who were not cherry picked by large corporations. These are individuals who understand social media, provide great content, and built a tremendous following. Their following buys the products they recommend, makes reservations at the restaurants they eat at, etc. Use these thought influencers to attract consumers. Work with them in the background to put your product or service in focus.
There is a never-ending learning curve
Social media changes by the date, sometimes by the hour. Accept that there is a never-ending learning curve. No post will be perfect. No medium will be an exact fit for you. But with consistent effort, you will develop a following and create awareness for your brand.
You will not be able to track ROI
ROI (also known as return on investment) is a critical business indicator for marketing spend. Some social channels, like Facebook, have made great leaps towards showing your ROI but it’s not a perfect science. Social media is like going to a networking event. Some conversations will lead nowhere; some conversations will open the door to your next big deal. Regardless, you have to show up.
Get on or be gone
No brand is big enough to “not need” social media. Look around. How many people are staring at their phones? How many people are making their next purchase on their phone? Thinking that social media is a waste of time and resources is a big mistake. You need to be a part of the game to get in on the action.
By Sacha Cabral