You or your business may already be fully engaged with social media. All may be going brilliantly. Your social activity is a huge success. Your audiences are engaged. Your campaign and channel strategies thriving. Your ROI clear and positive. If this is the case, then STOP reading this article, as it’s not for you.
This article is for those that are frustrated with social media activity. That frustration may manifest from personally feeling that you’re not doing enough, not knowing where or how to start or that you’re just not getting the results you desire. Or it may be the case that you’re frustrated that social isn’t being given any headspace in your organisation. There isn’t any buy in from the CEO or senior management.
If you’re still reading – then right now – I want you to think differently. I want you to forget the words ‘social’ and ‘media’ – and instead, I want you to contemplate the following words:
- Customer Engagement strategy
- Customer communications strategy
- Customer outreach / feedback strategy
Perhaps these words / concepts aren’t as ‘current’ as the two words we’re forgetting right now – but if you think about the bigger picture – they give a far deeper meaning to the tweets, posts and pics shared as part of ‘social’ ‘media’ activity.
Every strategy should start with the question – why? Why are we/you doing this?
This approach helps you to uncover your purpose. You can then work backwards from your purpose. Figuring out the various steps required to get there. Helping you to be specific and bring some clarity to what you’re looking to achieve via social channels.
So your question right now is Why? Why are you doing/wanting to do social media?
The answer you get then steers all that you do. If you’re doing social because it’s 2017 and that’s what all businesses now do – then I suggest you stop doing it and go back to asking the ‘why’ question. Doing social just because everyone else is – is not a strategy.
For CEOs or senior leaders that consider ‘social media’ as nothing more than a time wasting, non-direct revenue generating distraction – (whether that’s your thinking or you’re hopeful to change someone else’s thinking) – opening your eyes to the deeper meaning and talking of client / customer engagement, communication strategies, outreach / feedback strategies, can help to overcome the short-sightedness.
Social media channels are enablers. Enablers to assist you to achieve necessary client / customer / new business engagement. Used as part of an integrated campaign or channel plan, they can steer or enhance activity. You may lead some activities via social channels – or you may plug-in social to support other channel activities.
Let’s face it – without getting caught up on B2B or B2C – let’s just contemplate P2P – people to people. There are more than a billion ‘people’ logging into Facebook daily. (And that’s just Facebook – remember there are many other channels where people spend serious amounts of time). Some of them will be your customers or your potential customers. If social media is where your customers are – then shouldn’t you be building the channels into your communication / engagement plans?
If you’ve got stuck in your thinking of what social is and why you do or don’t do social media – I ask you to step back and really answer the ‘why’ question from a strategic perspective. And then do a bit of a business reality check to address any potential gaps:
- What’s your customer engagement plan / program?
- How do you actively listen to what customers are saying about you / your business?
- Where do you source ideas for relevant and engaging content?
- How do you engage those customers/prospective customers who are active on social channels?
- Is there an integrated communications strategy in place?
To those that still think of ‘social media’ as activities which are not business critical, then calling these important endeavours ‘social media’ – isn’t really doing anyone any favours.
So stop calling it social media – and step into the bigger picture.
Michelle Carvill, best selling business author, speaker, founder and Director at Carvill - the social media agency focused on creating authentic engagement. For information about how the team at Carvill can help you - simply get in touch or visit our website.