There are misconceptions about the effectiveness of having an online presence that comes from a lack of involvement. Business owners and marketers generally treat social media as a lowly job for an intern to handle. Social media is instead a strategic opportunity to build a reputation and attract new audiences. Some businesses have even abandoned the idea altogether, refusing to spend any time or money on a strategy.
The idea that social media is unimportant is harming businesses. It is preventing them from reaching potential new customers, keeping existing ones, and from generating a positive image.
Social media has been increasingly growing since 2004, and it hasn’t even reached the peak of its popularity yet. Furthermore, the number of businesses using social media marketing has been increasing for more than a decade. Despite data showing the increasing success of social media, it remains underrated. So what’s the deal? Why aren’t all businesses on board with social media?
The “fad” angle.
Some skeptics still believe that social media, and its use as a marketing strategy, is just a “fad” waiting to fizzle out. This idea could have been understood back in 2007 when only a small percentage of the population used social media. The fact is that today the number of social media users is in the millions and it continues to increase.
Users have gotten used to socially interacting online, and platforms keep evolving in new ways to maintain their interest. With that in mind, can social media really be considered a “fad”? The data continues to show that this is not the case so this idea cannot be accepted.
Social media use accounts for more than 20% of all time spent online. Not only that, 70% of adults have and use at least one social media account. Social media not only provides a platform to communicate with customers but also offers many chances to share user-generated content.
No matter who you’re targeting or where they may be, the chances are that they are on social media. Data is also showing that it is more than likely that they are not going anywhere anytime soon. Businesses need to understand that social media is not a “fad,” but a beneficial tool with positive potential.
You get what you pay for.
Psychologically, people tend to place more value on things that cost more money. For example, in taste tests done using identical wine, if a person is told one sample is a $5 wine vs. a $45 wine, they state that the “allegedly” more expensive wine is better tasting. This is because price positively influences perceptions of quality and inversely influences the perceptions of value.
Think about social media marketing; it’s free to build a business profile and to post regularly, so long as paid advertising isn’t on the table. Because of that, people don’t value it as much as they do paid advertising. Unfortunately, they’re also less likely to pay a professional knowing that someone else could do it for free.
Yes, anyone can post content to social media for free, but a professional understands that it is much more than that. Research needs to be done throughout the entire process of creating posts. This is to understand what type of posts are working best for business and which platforms are helping to achieve whatever end goal the company may have.
The return on investment (ROI) of social media is hard to measure. It is reasonable to want to see exactly how an investment is working out, no matter how big or small. We all want to know where our money is going, why it’s being used the way it is, and how it can be put to work more effectively. Unfortunately, trying to pin down an exact value of success is difficult, even for professionals, which is why the importance of a campaign is almost always underreported.
One of the biggest goals of any business is to attract a large following of people who are passionate about their brand. Improving both brand reputation and brand awareness is also an important goal. These goals aren’t easily measured, as online conversions can be, but do have the potential to lead to future sales.
It is also important to keep in mind that there are analytical tools built into social media platforms. These tools help to measure the success of posted content and to see who is engaging with your brand. These tools help to ensure the investment being put into social media is reaching the audience most likely to engage with your brand, and spend money with you.
Some businesses look only at their results and use those results as a gauge of the long-term potential of their campaign, not realizing that their strategic targeting is interfering with their results. An example would be if you buy 1,000 followers using an inexpensive follower-adding service, but only have 4 or 5 of those followers interact with your posts or website because the remaining followers have no interest in your business. Looking at results like those could give a business the wrong impression about the actual benefits of social media. It’s important to keep in mind that a large amount of followers, is not always the best goal.
A well-researched campaign will help ensure that only relevant customers will be targeted. Making assumptions can be very dangerous and expensive. Luckily, there are tools and data that exist to help businesses to know exactly where to find their target market. These numbers are very accurate and can help a brand determine precisely where to invest their time and money.
Lack of investment.
Effective social media marketing can’t be done without research and planning to guarantee successful execution. That means you’ll need to spend a significant amount of time and money to see results. Because many business owners aren’t willing to make that investment, they never get the chance to see their potential results. They’ve seen what a small investment does and unhappy with those results, become unwilling to make a larger investment. There is a risk with any investment, but a good investment takes time.
To sum everything up, social media is an important tool for all businesses to have and use. There are many reasons not to try social media, but there are also an equal amount of reasons to try it. Remember that each business is different and one idea may work for one business, but not another. The hard part is finding what platforms and content work best for each business.