The Single Biggest Mistake You Can Make in Social Media
Dec 26, 2011 6:00 AM - Posted by Brad Smith
Why are you on Twitter?
Why are you blogging?
Seriously, why even bother?
What is the purpose behind it, and how does it further your goals?
If you can’t answer that in under 5 seconds, then you need to stop right now, and think about why this is important.
Image courtesy of Intersection Consulting
Why Are You Prioritizing Social Media?
The single biggest mistake people make in social media is that they don’t know what success looks like before they start.
There is no understanding of how social media benefits their company.
This is a huge problem.
Most likely, you’re already overwhelmed . You don’t have enough time, money, and energy to chase down dead ends in your business.
But “social media” is all the rage, and you keep hearing about it on the news.
So you decide to stick the intern on Twitter.
Are You Sure You Want to Get Involved?
Social media won’t save your business.
If your product and service sucks, then people will still hate you.
So please understand that social media isn’t just some icing on the cake that will magically make all of your PR concerns go away… because it will only make it worse.
And also understand that social media and content marketing is not free. This is serious work. So unless you’re really committed, don’t even bother.
How Do Your Daily Activities Support Your Goals?
Now that we have that covered, let’s figure out why you should be utilizing social media in the first place.
It’s really important that you get involved, and seize this incredible opportunity to reach your customers directly.
But you need to tie all of your individual social media efforts to your business goals… otherwise you’re wasting your time.
I’m not talking about determining the ROI, but you do need your daily activities to support your business goals.
The Only 3 Business Goals
The Three Goals Are:
- Increase Sales
- Decrease Expenses
- Increase Customer Support
That’s it. Those are the only three real business goals.
But this should be obvious, right?
Yet people still make the mistake of failing to accurately describe daily activities in context with these goals.
It doesn’t matter how efficiently you’re doing something, if you shouldn’t be doing it at all in the first place.
Let’s take a look at these, one by one.
1. Increase Sales through Increasing Leads and Conversions
Again, don’t worry about the “ROI of social media“… technically, there’s no such thing.
However there are clear-cut ways to see how you can profit from these new marketplaces.
For example, Dell uses @DellOutlet on Twitter to sell overstocked merchandise.
Another client of mine has created an app for Facebook, and has sold over $20,000 in just a few months.
Besides direct sales, social media gives you the opportunity to build trust with people and develop new leads.
No, tracking those leads through the entire sales funnel isn’t easy and clear-cut. But one day, it will be.
2. Decrease Costs through Increasing Awareness
Marketing and advertising is an expense. Accounting 101 says that they show up on your Income (P&L) Statement.
So instead of directly paying for outdoor or mass-media advertising, you’re indirectly using online activities that are more measurable and scaleabe over time.
Combined with number 3 below, social media gives you the ability to substantially increase profitability by decreasing the traditional costs of Marketing and Customer Support.
And the goal is that over time, it becomes much less of an expense as a percentage of revenue.
3. Increase Customer Support through Increasing Customer Loyalty
Last but not least, your final goal is to increase customer support through increasing customer loyalty.
But don’t just focus on angry customers.
You want to create an audience of brand evangelists that will do your marketing for you.
Because to really thrive today, you need to focus on the lifetime value of a customer.
Building a real community is difficult. It involves making promises and keeping them over time.
But it’s one of the best ways uses of your time.
And it’s one of the best activities that will actually support your business goals.