The Value of Social Media
Should executives use social media?
The rise of social media is one of the biggest stories in recent years, but you’d be surprised how many clients ask whether or not they should join in and what the value of social media really is.
Well, first things first, I’m a believer in the practice. The institution of social media is here to stay, in new and evolving forms, and its widespread use is breaking down old barriers and expanding horizons. From empowering demonstrators in foreign countries to providing new avenues for companies’ revenue enhancement strategies, social media is changing the world.
For executives, social media has provided crucial new methods of contacting the kinds of people their businesses need to thrive, holding their attention, and bringing them into the fold. We call these people “influencers”, and by communicating with them on the cutting edge of technology where they live, (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, whatever comes next), we enhance our relationship with them, enable mass collaboration, and broaden our digital marketplace.
What are the benefits of social media?
Social media should do more than just boost visibility; a successful social media effort boosts revenue, too. By finding the right audience, cultivating them, and enriching the dialogue you share, you’re building a community and connecting them with the various products or services you offer that they might benefit from.
In marketing, we’re always looking for innovative methods of reaching your audience — a moving target — and ‘touching’ them in different ways. To keep things fresh and stand out in a positive way, a diversified approach is best in any outreach effort. With the explosion of social media, new points of contact have seemingly materialized from thin air, helping executives keep messaging sharp and lines of communication open with visitors and potential customers.
And there’s a difference between ‘talking’ and ‘communicating’. When you’re communicating, you’re meeting your audience on a level that’s specifically important to them. Social media can help you do that, improving the quality, and not just quantity, of your interactions. But how?
How can social media work for my business?
To convert social media from a high-tech advertisement into a more dynamic, engaging, and lucrative interaction, it helps to know what you’re doing. Who is your audience and what interests them? How do you find them? How can you expand their participation in your enterprise? What strategies and metrics can be used to successfully launch a social media campaign and track its progress?
A professional digital strategist can fill in those blanks, and is vital to any good social media plan. Social media strategy goes far beyond implementation; just “being there” isn’t enough and it’s all about management. Social media can spur spontaneous community collaboration, but those communities won’t add value to your business if they’re not handled the right way.
What can a digital strategist do for me?
Digital strategists can then take these diverse, loosely-connected groups and guide them toward a common purpose. With the focused leadership of a strategist, an engaged social media community will be steered toward actions that create tangible, financial benefits. By locating and linking-up with the right people, finding a “common language” of shared interest through tailored content and search engine optimization, a strategist makes businesses and customers into a cohesive “social organization” that gets more done for both.
Not only will strategists help you fully harness the power of this emerging medium, they can spare you from stumbling on any obstacles along the way. Like any new technology, there are potential pitfalls to social media as well. A well-trained Sherpa can be of real benefit when scaling the digital rock face.
The digital marketplace is always changing, and while keeping pace can take some work, there are people who can help in your success.