These days, you would think not having a website is simply not an option. Surprisingly, however not every company out there has realised that the Internet isn’t just a fad; it’s astounding how many companies are still not online. Having a website should be as natural as budgets, employees and all those other corporate thingies.
The same thing applies to social media. Studies show that a majority of successful companies are well aware that not having a Facebook or Twitter account is no longer okay – but do they know why? How many times have you looked for a company’s Google+ page and found it to be blank or out of date? Chances are that you have at least once. You go to all the trouble of looking up the company you’re about to do business with and they didn’t even bother to roll out the virtual red carpet for you.
Some companies have an excellent online presence and reap the benefits from it. LinkedIn has shown to provide 80% of social media leads for those B2B companies that make an effort to engage with professional contacts. How? By infusing their profile page with topical and relevant content making it a living, breathing hub for likeminded people.
However, more often than not, all you get is a static company profile, not the big social media party you expected. Maybe someone in the marketing department heard that a successful competitor makes full use of social media. Later on, that same someone reads an article about the benefits of social media and creates a number of accounts on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. OK – then what?
We call this “account collecting” – starting social media accounts just for the sake of having them. Sure, your company will be present on that platform, but those unused accounts won’t serve any purpose to visitors – or to your business for that matter. How many times can you read a company profile before getting bored? And then there’s the question of how will they find you when you don’t take content marketing seriously. You would never create a poster, dump it somewhere in the Alaskan wilderness and hope for it to be miraculously found, would you?
Write articles, blog, post a video, refer to your website and from your website refer back to your social media channels. This is content marketing and it’s the process of bringing cold, empty social media accounts to life through mutually beneficial communication. Never assume that your company is challenging that social media-savvy competitor of yours just by having the same social media accounts. Just being at the party won’t make you the centre of attention. Put a lamp-shade on your head and dance on the tables, tell some really interesting stories and maybe a funny joke or two. Soon the other guests will realise that you’re the funny / cool one to hang out with.
Social media is a tool. A hammer won’t build a table for you; you actually need to pick it up. You need to see social media as a way of activating your future customers, make them interested in what you do and lead them to your website. To do this you only need one or two accounts, those favoured by your target audience. Don’t start with the account collecting, start with the plan – start with the “now what?”
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Image courtesy: onthewebbsocialmedia.com, samanthanoto.com, thesocialskinny.com