Make no mistake: Running a successful social media campaign can be a lot of work. It’s time consuming, a little overwhelming and it demands a lot of attention. However, as I am sure you have seen in countless case studies (here’s my latest favorite), the benefits and rewards can far outweigh the efforts.
Since these campaigns can drain even the most socially savvy entrepreneur, I have been working on a few solutions to streamline the engagement and communication portions of a social media campaign. My goal: keep engagement real, timely and consistent.
Like any well-oiled traditional marketing campaign, a social media campaign (although more intimate and raw) can be streamlined with clear outcomes and processes to back it up.
With that said, my hope with my new online engagement system is to ensure my clients are consistently updating and engaging their Fans on their fan pages, Twitter accounts, blogs, forums, etc. as well as mixing up their communication styles to keep things interesting. (As you may know, some people are auditory and others are more visual, so you want to make sure you are using different forms of media to reach all your fans.) The strategy I have been creating is not a one-size-fits all, but it is something all businesses, authors, speakers, etc. can take and make their own with a little personal tweaking.
While I’ve been creating this new plan I started to see a pattern that scared me a bit. Actually, it scared me a lot.
The Voice of Your Brand
Most of my clients are extremely busy running their companies (and lives!) and social media is something they think they “should” do, but don’t necessarily make it a top priority.
Therefore they have been putting the social reigns in the hands of their employees (or good friend, neighbor, mom, etc. You name it, it’s been done). The challenge is that some of they people they have chosen to be the voice of their brand, by nature, are not really the “social” type. And worse yet, some of these people see the new responsibilities as “work” vs. an opportunity to connect with their client base and create raving fans in the process.
And that brings me to the reason for today’s post (finally!): Not everyone should be tweeting. Not everyone should have a blog. And not everyone should be posting to Fan Pages.
Social Media is NOT for Everyone
I think there’s a weird misconception that social media is for everyone. There’s this idea that if you don’t tweet or don’t have a fan page, you suck. Here’s what sucks: The majority of people who have a fan page only update it every 16 days and have less than 1,000 fans. Not much engagement going on there. (see study here)
Just like in the real world, not everyone is the social type. Not everyone wants to chat it up, meet new people and engage with others. And that is ok. But if you can relate to the non-social crowd, or you have someone like this who is running your social media campaigns, I think you need to rethink your plan. (Note: If you are an introvert, but love people and connecting on your own terms, you can still be a rock star in the social networking world. I am just talking about people who don’t enjoy socializing, no matter what.)
When you force an employee (or yourself) to do something they don’t enjoy or that does not come natural, especially something as intimate as communication, you are doing yourself and your business a disservice. People know when communication is forced or driven by ego vs. good intentions.
Here’s The Truth
- If you personally feel that engaging on social media platforms is a huge chore and you dread it, stop doing it. Because I can tell you this, your feelings speak louder than your words. Most likely you are pushing info (instead of engaging) or you are tweeting about things no one cares about because it just is not what you want to be doing anyway. So instead of making yourself miserable and socially overwhelmed, step away from the computer.
- If someone else is tweeting and posting on your behalf or for your company, take a close look at that person. Would this person be someone you would want to spend time with at a cocktail party? Are they interesting? Inviting and warm? Do they make you laugh? Do they represent (or can they relate to) your ideal client? If your answer is no, you better rethink things–because this person is representing your brand!
The Mic May Not Be Your Friend
I am passionate about this topic because I think so many people feel they have to jump on the social media train…but don’t really want to. And part of that is because they do not understand what social media is or what it can do for their business or personal brand. And those people just need a little education and they hop right on board.
But there is also a large group of individuals who begrudgingly tweet, throw up a Fan Page and just hope the “fad” will go away soon. (Too bad for them, it’s not going away…)
When you tweet because you think you have to or hang out on fan pages because it’s what you think you “should” be doing, it’s like you are stepping up to the mic…with nothing of great value to say. So when you talk into the mic, your audience is likely to boo….
If you can relate to this post at all (either you are the one that feels engaging on social media platforms is a chore or you have given the power to someone on your team that lacks the social luster you hoped for), take a breath and reassess. Step back and ask yourself this: Are you doing more harm than good being in this social space? Are there other options to get to your outcomes?
Social media might not be right for you or those you initially chose to be your online voice, but it might still be GREAT for your brand. Go find the right person that is passionate about your brand, who loves what your company is doing, who talks about you online just because they love your products or services, and let them be your advocate. There are always other options!
Enough said. I want to hear your opinion. Do you think I am way off here? Can you relate? What are some other solutions you have?