I was recently talking with a prospective client and we talked through the challenges they were facing. The client had just finished their “father’s day campaign” and the social media impact on sales seemed a little disappointing. She wasn’t sure why this was the case. The gut decision to “do something on social” seemed right, but the results seemed questionable. Why was this? She wasn’t the only one thinking this through. Plenty of big and small businesses are over investing in social media without a large return. In this post I’ll show you why this is the case!
Get tips for a simple and effective Social Media Plan with great content HERE.
The Statistics and Reported Social Media Impact
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Social media spending is slated to go up by over 20% in the next five years, however 40% CMOs have reported a below average contribution of the media on their business. Look at the insights here from the latest CMO survey published recently.
Why Your Brand’s Social Media Impact is Low
This doesn’t look pretty, especially for smaller brands and startups where lean processes are in place and over-investment can make or break businesses. So, to think through why this is the case and why your brand’s social impact is disappointing and low, here are a few thoughts to consider:
1. Social media is disconnected from your business-
Now whether you’re a 10 year or a 125 year old business, social media is new. While many millennials grew up with social media, it does not necessarily mean that they have been using social media for business from day 1. The actual social media impact through campaigns and marketing activities has often been tough to gauge for most. Many businesses seem to run away with social media and have elaborate social scheduling and content ideas without really connecting it with business. You’ll often see websites with missing social links. You’ll also see the websites and social content totally disconnected from each other. It often feels like the business guys are never talking to the social guys. This large disconnect shows in the results.
2. You Can’t Fully Answer This: Why are You on Social Media?
A friend of mine recently told me that she was on her way to “up her social media game.” And I was really tempted to ask why. Before I could say much, she reverted by saying she used it for inspiring herself and getting her brand “out there” and known. Now these are fair goals and on a canvas translate into business speak, like this:
a) Increase brand awareness
b) Inspire creativity in daily work
The next step is: how do you measure whether she’s successful or not. What metrics are important to measure her brand awareness. Can she find objective ways to know the top of the mind recall of her brand before and after a social campaign? Can she use proxy measurement tactics like getting new business/ client mentions due to social media? Or should she rely merely on the number of likes and shares her Facebook posts have? How can she measure if she’s had some new inspirations that have flowed into her own work with this new social engagement? Some of these questions may be easy or difficult depending on what you’re trying to solve. But the key here is: at each stage, ask yourself- so what?
You will have a guaranteed ZERO social media impact if you and your team doesn’t know your social media goals and how to measure them.
3. You Believe Social Media is Inherently Free
Most executives and decision makers tend to get onto social media believing it to be a low hanging fruit that is basically free. But those who want real social media impact can not believe that to be true. Social media has inherent costs right from content creation, to strategy development to distribution. With the proliferation of a gazillion social platforms, it can often be overwhelming and get extremely expensive in the long run (even to merely maintain). Once you get rid of the “free” notion, you will be able to set realistic expectations both from your teams, agencies and be able to genuinely know what your costs are. Social media needs processes just like traditional marketing. More importantly, you need to run a cost-benefit analysis and keep room for testing and flexible planning. It’s not free, it’s hard work that you reap benefits of.
How do you see the social media impact of your brands?
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