Do I Really Have to Socialize on Social Media? | By Sahr Saffa

Not running your social media accounts well is equivalent to a company not managing their website 15 years ago. Nowadays, social media is more than a platform that people simply use to socialize and update their vacation picture album. The benefits of a properly run social media account can provide great insight as to how companies can appeal to their target audience.

Inbound marketing allows companies to create quality and informative content to pull customers towards their product or service in an engaging way. This technique is being adopted at an exponential rate by many of the Fortune 500 companies, because of the two-way street it creates between customer and product, and comes at a significantly lower price tag than previous marketing channels. These traditional methods of outbound marketing (such as buying advertisement spots on TV or radio) are slowly dissipating because of the difficulty to track engagement and its costly price points. It’s suggested that as consumers, we see approximately 3,000 ads per day, but can you recall any of the billboards you drove by on your commute to work? The truth is that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for organizations to reach out and captivate their target audience if a major emphasis isn’t placed on a succinct content and inbound strategy.

Depending on the platform used (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc.), social media can be utilized to:

  • Garner support for upcoming product launches and provide company updates
  • Highlight a company’s community involvement
  • Engage in conversations with fans on your product or service
  • Share micro-blog updates with followers
  • Drive referral traffic to your blog or website
  • Promote or sell your product or service

You may have noticed that promoting and selling on social media are the final points on that list. This is because the last thing a company wants is a decrease in followers on their social media platforms when prospective consumers feel like they are frequently being sold to. Consumers cannot be so easily bought anymore, and companies strictly enforce social media use as a tool of engagement and curation instead of for direct selling. With traditional methods of communication, how many notifications could you get away with sending without eventually being ignored or blocked? Probably not very many. With the right balance in the type of posts created, social media allows you to communicate with your audience in non-intrusive ways. And yet, some companies are known to make some kind of post every two hours!

A reasonably managed page will grow at about 1.5% each week (100% a year), while a professionally managed page with paid advertising will grow at about 5% a week or 1,200% a year. Of course, this number may fluctuate depending on the specific audience, but a company who pays attention to the details of their pages will create a deeper and meaningful channel to connect with their audience.

Outsourcing your social media management will allow your company to keep up with the rapidly changing trends in the technological market that affect how social media is utilized. There are new platforms being developed constantly, and it’s important to have someone who is well-versed with the industry to make recommendations of what to adopt and what to abandon. Secondly, your platforms require a consistent level of monitoring to understand what content is captivating and what is flopping. If used correctly, this insight can be adapted to convert your audience into loyal customers. Lastly, social media is a full-time job, and time is money. For many companies optimal use of their employees doesn’t include having them run the social media accounts because it can include an additional 10-15 hours a week. Also, a qualified individual is one that can build and execute a diverse content strategy that includes graphic design, the proper copy and can make necessary changes to a website. It is a handful, but it’s important that it’s done and done right!

Social media is an opportunity to engage past, present, and seasoned followers. After all, it mainly is just socializing!

Banner photograph by Wanderer Online Photography Editor Antony Ta

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