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Social Media Marketing: Are You Too Scared to be Social?
Lately I’ve noticed a common theme – some people I meet are scared about social media marketing. I’m sure this is why someone you know isn’t using social media much, or even at all.
The fear of ‘what if’ or ‘what should we say?’ is holding people back.
I’m not saying just jump in – please don’t. Please get social media training (Guess what? We can help with that) and please have a policy. But after that, get on and do it!
Social media marketing has many barriers
Barrier #1. Technology is (wrongly) one of the big barriers for many people
This shouldn’t be a barrier though, as social media is all about people. You know people, right?! You’re one of them. The technology behind social media is merely the way it happens. You don’t need to be a genius on a smartphone or a techie geek to succeed. In fact, sometimes it works better if you’re not. Be yourself.
Social media marketing is more about networking and engaging. And by engaging I mean in conversation. Don’t do what most brands and companies do on social media and forget how conversation works, either.
A conversation is an exchange between people. It’s not a pitch or a way to sell your stuff. It can be great for spreading the word about yourself… but more indirectly.
Barrier #2. There’s too much choice
Which social media channel is best? Which one will give me the best ROI and which one works the fastest? The answer to that is none of them are a fast-track to marketing success but the right platform is important.
Research your industry and see what most people are using. You can bet they’ve probably had great success with those channels. Choose wisely and understand the platform before you leap in.
Another barrier is time. We struggle to find the time to eat lunch, let alone take on another marketing or communication channel. But with the right strategy and the right focus you can find the time. Even on the busiest days I spend no more than an hour on my own social media (which some say I’m obsessed with).
I don’t do it all at once though. I schedule posts for my blog, I pop on to Twitter and Facebook throughout the day and I make sure that I’m there for busy or important times. If I go to an event I’ll share what I’m doing or some useful information. But I’m not glued to it every minute of every day – and you don’t have to be either.
Barrier #3. What should my tone of voice be?
What tone of voice should I have? Should I be corporate? Should I be serious? Should I say LOL and use emoticons on LinkedIn?
The simple one-size fits all answer is be social but not overly so. Social media is all about communication and you should never forget that. It’s about people talking to people. If you’re in a tightly regulated industry, yes – have a social media policy. But generally speaking (very generally) when you have a human voice and match the tone of the people you speak to it works really well.
Barrier #4. Finding the right (and wrong) resource
Finding the right people to run your social media is a barrier. Who will do it and how will they do it? Who has the time and understands digital things?
Would you be surprised if I said that the intern or the youngest person in your business is the last person you should choose to do your social media?
Would you be surprised if I told you that the newest person to your business knows the least about your business and is the least passionate about your company? No.
So why do these people get the job of being the important voice of so many businesses?
The reason the young intern gets the job of social media marketing is usually because it’s seen as a young person’s thing. Sure, they may be brilliant at selfies and have many Instagram followers. But are they good at customer relations or marketing? Can they think on their feet? Do they have a warm character and endless energy for your business? Can they truly represent your business online purely because they know how to use a few buttons on Facebook?
Think about who has the best qualities to ‘be’ your business and then train them up to understand social media.
Don’t give it to someone just because they understand social media. Big mistake. (HUGE.)
Barrier #5. Not understanding what social media marketing is all about
I believe this is the biggest barrier of all.
Think about it.
If you don’t understand something.
If you don’t speak the lingo.
If you’re out of your depth and everyone else is all over it, why would you want to do it?
If you don’t understand something then you’re right not to do it until you learn. You wouldn’t drive a train or charter a yacht without training and help. Social media is nowhere near as complicated but the sheer speed that it’s evolving is making it appear to be a big a task to learn.
It’s easy to ignore social media. You can simply carry on with the old methods of marketing. But the fact is it’s not going away. Social media is the number 1 activity on the internet and the average user spends almost 3 hours a day doing it. Add to that the fact that people don’t like being sold to and you’ve got yourself a problem.
Not understanding it is negligent but understandable. We meet so many people who simply don’t get it but when it clicks they’re so excited that they can’t wait to do it.
Make a start to break down your social media marketing barriers
Start to understand social media and what it can do for your business. It really can lead to sales and extra growth but this takes time. Why? Because people take time to warm to you. Just because this is online doesn’t mean that you stop being human.
Choose the right platform based on research and expert advice and choose the right people to run the accounts for you.
Technology is NOT your biggest barrier but get yourself used to the app or desktop version on your chosen platform. It’s like a new car radio – you need to tinker for a bit but you’ll soon be able to use it without thinking.
Social media is the number one activity on the internet and sites like Facebook and Twitter are taking three hours a day from ‘average’ users. Are you not interested in being there? I am!
Now it’s your turn…
What do you think is the number one reason people don’t do social? Let me know in the comments – lets smash it out.
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