I get asked the same thing on a regular basis. It is worded differently each time but essentially is:
“Can you direct me to a one-stop-shop for all things social media?”
When I get asked this question I feel overwhelmingly tired. It’s time to expel the myth. I tell you plainly that no, there is no-one-stop-shop, despite all the blogs out there that promise if you just download their whitepaper/answer a 10-page survey/donate a kidney that you will become a social media demi god. You won’t.
I understand why the question gets asked, I really do. And to a certain extent, there are golden rules which apply to each platform, just like it would with any type of marketing. Namely, you’ll always need to know who your audience are and where they are.
But there’s an awful lot more to consider, not least, the fact that the big four – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram – are all constantly changing. If they’re not updating their algorithms (Google) they’re trying to muscle in on publishers (Facebook).
There is another problem with that question too. It’s still assuming that social media is an add-on and a nice to have. It suggests it’s a fairly straightforward and solvable equation, that by doing x and y, you will achieve z. To some extent, this is true, and if you share relevant posts to your audience on a regular basis, you will probably see some engagement. But it is certainly not an exact science. There are four main points I like to give people starting out with their social media strategy and who ask me this question. This is usually people who, as well as running a business, might be also running their social media. They are as follows:
- Social media is not an add-on. It is arguably the biggest part of your marketing strategy so it is worth checking out what your competitors are doing and giving up on the idea that it’s somehow not a real marketing thing. Check out this post by Michael Taggart where he gets really angry about the same thing too.
- Nearly always, you get out what you put in. I.e: You can’t expect to hand over the channels to the intern and have 10,000 Twitter followers within the month. (Unless the intern has posted something really bad). Equally, you may have to put some money behind platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, which are increasingly pay-to-play.
- Stay on top of it. I’m not suggesting you eat, breathe and sleep social media – you’ll have a fledgling business to run no doubt and perhaps ‘very little time’ – but you do need to either, employ someone to look after the accounts (well, you wouldn’t just let your work phone ring out, would you?) or stay up to date with emerging tech and do it yourself. A prime example of companies not keeping up to date is the continued use of Google Plus. I see a lot of firms still expending time and effort on this platform, when the indication from Google is that their social network hasn’t been a success and that it might just be shuffling off its mortal coil soon, or indeed, changing identity in some way. Evaluate your reasons for being somewhere and revisit it regularly. (Google’s social network isn’t dead yet BTW, but I wouldn’t bother curating especially for Google Plus posts right now).
- Don’t ask me that question again. And sign up to our digital marketing email. We’ll tell you everything you need to know.