Written by: Lynette Hundermark, of media and technology agency Prezence
When you see a friend get more Likes for their daughter’s eighth birthday party in one day than you have for your business’ Facebook page, it can be disheartening.
But what is the point of getting these likes and attaining these fans? Your friend has an objective: get people to his daughter’s birthday party. You need to be the same with your social media marketing effort.
Ultimately, whether you have six, 60, or 600 follower and fans for your company, if you can’t answer what business objectives these fans and followers are achieving for it, it’s ultimately an exercise in futility.
Facebook, or any other social media marketing effort, may seem simple enough. But the number of brands and businesses failing at it makes it clear that it isn’t.
To achieve success with your social media marketing campaign, you need to wake up and take it seriously just as you would with any other marketing activity.
So let’s take an example. Say that you have 95 fans on your page - while that may seem like an embarrassingly low figure it’s not necessarily so.
Depending on who you are, 95 fans may not be that bad as a starting point. If you’re a small business selling products from home I’d say that’s a great start. But if you’re a major corporate then yes, 95 fans on your page is a cause for serious concern.
Essentially, gauging the success of your social media marketing efforts is as contextual as gauging the success of any other marketing effort.
Having said that, success – however you may gauge it – can only be achieved through hard work and careful consideration.
Just because you’ve taken the time to set-up your Facebook page, it doesn’t mean you will automatically achieve thousands of likes for it.
There’s a more to it than that. To build a strong social media presence for your brand, you need to engage with your audience.
You need to build a relationship with them. Have some fun: share stories, give advice, invite them to interact with each other.
What you need to be engaged in on your social media is fostering a community of like minded people brought together by a shared appreciation of your services or products.
Before doing that, here are a few questions and thoughts to keep in mind.
· What was your aim when you decided to embark on social media marketing?
· Are you looking to create purchase intent online or in-store or are you simply creating an engagement platform for your customers?
· What have you done to make it work?
· What are the objectives behind your social media marketing efforts? For example is it about sharing the latest information about your products and services? Sharing customer reviews?
· Social media marketing success can’t be merely attributed to the number of Likes, followers or Fans you have. Once you have 10,000 then what? You also need to think beyond that as a measurement of success and to think about what you’re trying to achieve in the long-term.
· Whose responsibility is it to manage and maintain your social media presence on an ongoing basis? Consider whether it may be best to outsource it to an external agency or manage it internally. When making this decision, remember that it needs commitment, knowledge of your business, governance policies, content plan and skill. Just about anyone can create a social media presence for your business but its day-to-day management requires real thought.
· Finally, the most important question you need to ask yourself is how does your social media marketing integrate with your overall marketing strategy?
If you can honestly answer and address these questions and notes, social media marketing success won’t be mission impossible for you. There’s no such thing as easy marketing. Put in the effort, and you’ll reap the rewards. Don’t put in the effort, and things will stagnate.
When considered in relation to the entire marketing mix, social media may be new, and social-media marketing even more so, but knowing your customer is in no way new to marketing. At the end of the day that is the one key necessity to achieving social media marketing success.
For more than a decade Prezence, has been creating inspired experiences through new media and technology. Today this leading agency continues to blaze a trail into the future through practical innovation in the apps, mobile, and digital realms. Established in South Africa in 2002 as Prezence Digital, the agency has delivered strategic and immersive digital experiences for leading brands such as Ster-Kinekor, Bidorbuy, Diner’s Club, Standard Bank, Media24.com, and Old Mutual. www.prezence.co.za