To be, or not to be Social?
Whatever the size of your organisation, and regardless of sector, a big question that gets bandied about the boardroom is “should we be ‘doing’ social media”?
Invariably only half of all boardrooms are convinced about social media’s value. We explore why businesses are reluctant to invest and whether or not this is the best strategic decision.
It’s estimated that more than 60% of CEOs do not use social media at all. This, combined with the lack of hard data to prove the exact number of sales transactions brought about by a social media campaign can make the investment a hard one to justify. Let’s face it, boardroom conversations are more focussed around profit and loss, and less about brand awareness and the total number of engagements.
If the value of such activities cannot be seen or understood, then investing further time to learn more is likely to rank on the low side. With limited education around the use of social media, there can be a nervousness around risk to the companies’ reputation in the event of any negative publicity.
Why invest in social media?
Today, social media is a necessary cost of doing business. Social media usage has hit anall-time high, with predictions of further growth. It’s understood that 83% of the UK adult populationare active on social media channels, which surely presents a fantastic opportunity to reach and engage with your desired audiences?
The ‘always connected’ consumer has contributed to changes in the purchasing journey, making it more essential than ever before to be at the hearts and minds of your target audience. Being connected to your consumers provides an advantage over your competitors, not only from generating more sales but as a listening tool. Understanding what your customers are interested in, what they’re happy about and their concerns will allow you to respond quicker in meeting their needs.
Identifying your website traffic sources is another great way to understand how your customers are being referred. Having an array of referral streams only strengthens your position amongst competitors.
If you need further reason to invest in social media, it’s one of the greatest methods of delivering targeted messages to a very specific tailored audience. What other channels allow you to draw out your customers from demographics, interests, professional status and more? Following up on the effectiveness of your outputs will, over time, enable you to analyse the most successful creatives and tone-of-voice across each of your audiences, providing further opportunity to learn and improve.
Why businesses get social wrong…
Lack of strategy
There are many businesses that believe they need a social presence so they employ an inexperienced student to put up a few posts, after-all it’s not a difficult task? Wrong! Your social media should always form part of your wider strategy and belong to a complete marketing ecosystem. Make sure you have a clear strategy for each channel from the types of content, the frequency of posting and the audiences being targeted. Consumers will always expect some form of consistency regardless of the channel or touchpoint. If executed properly your social campaigns should drive traffic in the desired direction, and both initiate and close sales, ultimately impacting your bottom line.
Failed action to a crisis
In the event that your brand attracts negative publicity ensure you have a planned and approved crisis management policy to resolve the matter quickly and effectively. Bad publicity can often be turned into a positive if handled well. Ironically it may even raise your profile without investment.
Lack of analysis
Whilst it’s fair to accept that not every single social action can be accounted for, there are still very powerful metrics and learnings to be taken from the analytics. Drill down into the numbers, get to know what stats are important to you and your industry, work with these numbers to set realistic benchmarks and KPIs and evolve your strategy accordingly.
If you want to get ahead of your competitors and grow your sales, you have to first be part of the social conversation. Establish your target audience, the channels they are using and develop a strategy to engage with them. For more advice on how to deliver social in your organisation, get in touch, we’d love to help at email@example.com