I was talking to an SMB owner the other day who is doing everything that he is supposed to do in regards to social media usage for his company, and doing it seemingly correctly. By correctly I mean he has a Facebook fan page and a Twitter account which he updates semi-regularly. He is transparent, authentic, and he shares content and advice liberally when he can. He reads and comments on other blogs when he has time and he is thinking of starting his own blog. He loves what social media can do and is a champion of it. There’s one problem tho.
His customers are not on Twitter and Facebook.
Or are they? The back story: It has not been a year of engagement for either platform that he’s on and thus the growth of fans and followers has not been consistent or completely measureable. He still loves it, but his perception that social media could be a game changer for his business is waning.
My thought? He may be echoing a larger sentiment of SMB’s far and wide. More and more businesses are walking away from social media because they are not seeing “the immediate results”. Perhaps the first mistake is coupling the term “immediate results” with social media-Social is not a quick fix.
If we look under the hood of the SMB owner, we would see that though he is on multiple platforms, there is minimal engagement. His usage of both is scattershot and not very consistent. The effort that he puts into both is casual at best and he measures nothing. If we add a dose of unrealistic expectations coupled with zero strategy, then he is ripe to walk away and say that social media did not work for his business.
So are his customers using social media or not? He doesn’t think so. What do you think?
I think your client is likely still operating under the “Field of Dreams” theory of social media and has not given his customers any reason to go to his sites or stay on them once they are there. Has he done anything to promote them?
Even for larger brands, sticking a Facebook url where the 800# once stood on print and TV ads does nothing to tell me why I should go there. Particularly important since too many brand Facebook pages offer nothing beyond a few pictures and maybe a copy of the most recent TV spot.
@Alan I agree. Somewhere along the line someone left out the part about engagement, hard work, and a clear cut strategy. The problem is also compounded by companies who hire consultants who do nothing as well-which then perpetuates the notion that is doesn’t work and one’s customers do not use it.
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“The back story: It has not been a year of engagement for either platform that he’s on and thus the growth of fans and followers has not been consistent or completely measurable.”
Please don’t laugh at my analogy…but, this post is so relevant and it mirrors the way society has twisted everything into “instant”, no longer is patience a virtue to embrace.
I recall someone one saying to me onetime that the game of baseball is a romantic sport. *scratching my head* I let it go thinking that “this too will reveal it’s wisdom when I’m older and wiser” and it did. Chew on it awhile it will come to you too.
But what this post reminded me of the most was a compost pile. Remember, don’t laugh. A compost pile is in itself like social media….you first find a place to set up your bin (social platform) and then you begin to add content suitable for composting…organic additions like grass, fruit and veggie scraps (status, comments, reciprocation) frequently water and turn while adding more content (consistent feeds,interaction,commenting,writing interesting content filled blog posts that others can glean information from)
My point is that is takes many elements to turn that compost into fertile soil that in turn will be used as a rich organic environment to grow a healthy garden. Sun, water, the right amount of green to brown ratio and nothing that would hamper the natural state, but it takes about 9 to 12 months to turn into soil….this is the same with social media, many elements play into the evolution of a healthy social media following and it won’t happen instantly.
Wow, was that the long way around the bush or what?
@cindi Cindi, I love this analogy!