Sometimes, social media leaves us feeling like a jilted girlfriend whose boyfriend just ditched her to play Halo 3. Having come into the relationship with assumptions about How Things Will Be, you are left with a glowing screen in hand on which you poured out your heart and now no response, radio silence, dead air.
Discouragement ensues and you think about deleting your account; no one would care or notice anyway. However, while stalking your boyfriend in real life is socially unacceptable, stalking an audience on social media is just the way of the universe.
It’s time to learn how to play Halo. But first, let us dispel a few myths about social media.
What It Isn’t: Instant gratification. You might not see any results, or even followers/likes for months. Just because you see your message pop up in the Twitterverse right away doesn’t mean the masses will suddenly come to beat down your door with adoration and then open their coffers for your leisurely perusal. You have to earn their love.
What It Is: Building a culture of openness, trust, and a free flow of information. This takes time and a consistent presence.
What It Isn’t: Your audience laying out a neat trail of breadcrumbs of what you should do to magically gain their business, make them a lifelong customer, and become a millionaire.
What It Is: Making customers 90% certain that they will purchase your goods or services before they even go to your website. (Or at least interested enough that they bothered to click the link and find out more about you.)
Truth Bomb Time: Even the best social media strategy and messaging cannot overcome a crappy website or bad customer service.
What It Isn’t: Easy. Let’s face it. It takes time and effort to research and find all that good info, or create it yourself if it doesn’t exist.
What It Is: Giving. A lot. And by a lot, I mean massive amounts of good info about you, your business, your industry, the causes you/your business supports, your employees’ personalities and accomplishments, and anything else you find relevant. Twitter is not the place to be stingy.
What It Isn’t: A megaphone for every cliched slogan and catch phrase you or your marketing team thinks up. Seriously, no one wants that. If all your audience hears is “We’re so great. Wanna buy?” they probably won’t. Kinda like the Charlie Brown teacher, they’ll tune you out. And probably unfollow you. (To go with the girlfriend analogy, it would be like texting “I’m so lonely. Wanna hang out?” Both whiny and demanding.)
What It Is: Tuning in. Listening. This is a complement to Giving. You cannot give if you don’t know what your audience wants, and to find out what they want you have to… listen.
What It Isn’t: Directly measurable. You will have very few leads that you can track directly from social media to a sales conversion.
What It Is: Creating higher organic traffic to your website. Building your conversation’s reach, your visibility, and making you a thought leader in the marketplace.