If you went through the questions at the end of my last blog article, and you are sure that social media is for you, great!
If you went through the questions, weren’t sure how to answer them, then thought, “What the heck, social media is free and easy … “ — not so great.
It is true that an account on a social media platform is free (as opposed to the cost to run an ad or exhibit at an event) and posting to it is easy (unlike, say, building a website); but unlike advertising (where you can design an ad, then run it over and over) or event marketing (where each event is standalone), social media is built to be a stream of activity, which requires dedicated effort.
That is neither free nor easy.
Imagine you subscribed to a magazine, then only received one issue: that is the equivalent to following a blog with no new entries or a social media account with no activity. You see, the people who follow your Twitter account or “Like” your Facebook page are subscribers. They are looking for you to deliver information to them regularly as surely as if you had sold them a weekly; and by offering them the option to subscribe, you’ve kinda promised them that. While I talked previously about not stalking your customers where they don’t want to talk to you, this is about failing to meet your customers where they expect to find you — like standing up your date. You don’t look very sincere about building a relationship.
But let’s put your readers’ hurt and disappointment aside for a moment. Here is the most compelling reason to keep your social media stream active:
- In order to make a sale to a potential customer, you need to gain their trust.
- Trust is gained through referral OR through a sense that a brand is respected in a space (and worthy of the risk).
- You must make multiple contacts with a potential client before they will take action or consider trusting you. *
- Seven touches through social media is less expensive than running seven ads or attending seven events.
Now, I am NOT saying you should switch to nothing but social media marketing. I AM saying that social media (while I still believe it is a hex-driver, not a hammer) is a valid part of your marketing mix when you commit to the time and effort it takes to do it right.
So if you are going to do social media, be sure you plan to give it the care and feeding it deserves.
* Statistics are all over the place on this one. One source says “80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact,” another refers to “the rule of seven.” Take your pick, but they all point to one thing — repetitive contact increases familiarity (brand awareness) and your chance to gain trust and business.