The other night I was speaking to another marketer and we were discussing social media, events, and results. He was telling me how he just hadn’t seen the results from social media to make it worthwhile. To be honest, I can’t say that I totally disagree. While my professional profile and business reach continue to grow, people might notice that my personal following on social media has been stagnant for quite some time.
In all honesty, most of my time spent on social media is in private discussions outside my professional network. I do participate daily in professional conversations, but that’s a fraction of my personal use.
Does that mean it’s not worthwhile? No, of course not. I don’t actively monetize my social media audience so it’s not something I’m losing money on. And, quite honestly, I don’t want to always be selling on social media. Am I leaving money off the table? Perhaps – but the huge number of overall social media following in comparison to the target audience that would do business with me barely overlaps.
What the following does provide is the reach I need to capitalize on writing and speaking opportunities. People see the big numbers, so they open their door to me. When I have those opportunities, they bring direct revenue. So – in the long run do I profit from my social media usage? I suppose so!
Will I stop actively marketing and utilizing social media? Absolutely not – it’s still a channel where my audience exists, a community that adds value to my work, and where people research purchase decisions. It’s simply not as immediate or profitable as other channels are to me. I find that I’ve increased social media impact when I’ve combined it in cross-channel marketing and promotions more than utilizing it as a silo’d channel, so that’s how we manage and execute our social media strategy.
Social networks are great places to promote your work and business – especially those consumers searching the channels using key phrases, terms and hashtags – but they’re not the place for a hard sell so it’s important to have more genuine interactions. You have to develop trust and understanding with potential customers.
The folks at Insurance Octopus have done a great job here of putting together some great social media best practices in this infographic on planning, usage, hashtags, audience and content usage. It’s great advice!