Social media is the dark art of digital right now. There is always one area of digital marketing that the vast majority of the industry don’t yet fully understand and this is currently social.
There are many established networks and many more popping up all the time. Monitoring tools, insights, advertising options, targeting, advocates, management tools and many more areas are in constant flux. Different tools and philosophies rise and fall and rise again and are bought and sold. It’s a difficult landscape to keep up with.
Ultimately success all comes back to your goals. You mustn’t be tempted to jump on the band wagon and try to be the next ice bucket challenge or aim for a Klout score of 99 just because they seem to be what success looks like (for those that remember Klout). Are they really appropriate for your audience and business?
Why are you in social? In the early days of the Internet businesses created websites. Now I’m not saying that was the wrong thing to do but at the time some businesses had no use for them and their customers did not want to use them. If you asked those businesses why they had them you would hear something along the lines of ‘because everyone else has got one’. That trend has continued with apps and with social strategies. The main difference is that having a social strategy can hugely backfire.
Unlike one way communications such as press, social opens up the opportunity for anyone to contact you or respond to your posts and tweets in real time.
I’m sounding very negative here but this is not about being down on social. It has huge power and provides fantastic opportunity for those that understand the key elements such as having a true content strategy, understanding social insights, building advocacy, differentiating the channels, being authentic, using both reactive and proactive messaging and more.
I talk more about the opportunities, risks and also the customer service side of social media within my international, best-selling book, Digital Marketing Strategy.