by Tony Fannin, President, BE Branded
I recently attended a meeting where the subject was about social media and its ROI. I heard things like, “We need to get at least 50,000 followers in 5 days,” or “Our goal is to get 10,000 people to become fans of our page.” That’s all well and good, but where I have the problem is when I asked why those are the goals, no one could give me a real marketing reason or what they hoped to gain with the mass numbers. Unfortunately, that’s the usual response.
If you don’t know your marketing goals or have a clearly defined objective, how do you know that your social media is doing any good and is achieving what you need it to achieve? Here are a few points about social media:
- Everything is not for everybody – there is so much out there, you can spend half of your time every day just tending to social media tasks. Why are you on the sites and platforms you are on now? If you can’t honestly answer with a clearly defined goal, then you’re wasting your time. You don’t need to be involved in everything, because most likely your customers aren’t either. Be where they are. Don’t waste time on places they are not. Remember, your brand will be viewed in perspective with the company it keeps. That means your brand needs to be seen in the right crowd.
- It can take away from core marketing tactics that bring results – what I mean by that is your attention is spent on so many social media functions, you don’t spend the time on the marketing tactics that will bring in results. But, you won’t know that if you don’t know why you joined each site to begin with. As a marketer, you need to spend your valuable time on the strategies and tactics that will bring in the results you want. You do this by knowing where to spend your time and how much.
- Mass numbers are meaningless – without knowing what you are looking for, bland metrics like number of followers or number of fans, have no value. You are better off with less people, but more relevant followers. These are the people who can become true evangelists for your brand and who will give you honest criticism that is useful and meaningful.
- You don’t make sales from social media – that is to say, it’s rare. For the most part, you don’t ring the cash register from social media. It is there to communicate and socialize with your customers (hence, the category name). You still need a focused, well-thought-out marketing plan that is flawlessly executed to truly drive revenue.
- The online world mirrors the real world – studies are beginning to show that social media sites are falling along ethnic lines as well as subject interest. For example, to reach a majority of caucasians, you go to Facebook. To connect with minorities, you chat on MySpace. Even though you are online, you are still dealing with people who will act as they do in their real lives.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t be in the social media world, just know why you are there, what you want to achieve, and why is the information important and how does it fit in your overall marketing strategies. When you know these answers, you know that your time is well spent and not wasted with idol chit-chat.