I have been thinking a lot more about social media marketing lately – mostly because I’ve been able to do a lot more of it at my new job! It’s been an exhilarating experience building up our page and increasing engagement from our followers but I’ve also encountered first hand a lot of the challenges that brands face when carrying out social media marketing. How do I increase the number of followers? How can I increase impressions organically without paying for ads? How can I turn followers into consumers? What content should I post? and finally – Is the time I spend here time well spent?
As much as experts can talk about the formulas and the science behind marketing on these social channels, there is no secret trick where you can apply ‘a’, do it ‘b’ number of times to get an increase of ‘x’ number of followers and ‘y%’ increase in engagement. If someone has discovered that elusive formula, please tell me. I might even be willing to pay! The whole point behind social media is that it is about the people – the connections, the interactions and… the authenticity. Anything lacking in these three key ingredients would just be a disaster.
Social media marketing after all… is so much about the authentic voice. The voice that people can trust, can relate to, and can remember (most preferably, at the moment of purchase!). When you have enough people believing in that voice and will follow it – you inevitably have a ‘community’. This idea of community is so powerful – because they are made up of people that believe in your brand and can be your advocates. What social media can offer that traditional channels can’t, is a chance to interact with these people and have meaningful 2 way conversations. The problem though, is this type of value can be so hard to measure.
Even so, I will say this. Because of social media, I’ve had the opportunity to engage with people both online and offline. I’ve had glimpses into their lives, been privy to their thoughts on our brand through the comments they make and the conversations that they have with their friends and family – this is the type of data that is truly invaluable. These snippets have taught me so much – not just about what we sell, but how our products have truly changed their lives. Getting to see these moments have brought even more meaning to my job – so while it is hard to justify the efforts spent on social media, I say it is all worthwhile – if not just for these moments that help bring everything back into perspective.
What are your thoughts on social media marketing and its place in the marketing mix?