Is social media having an impact on your business?
Is your business struggling to gain new prospects into your sales funnel and are you closing them?
If you’re like most businesses, the answer is probably not and there are good reasons for poor social media results.
Find out in today’s podcast and article how some companies are using social media to their advantage and steps you can implement today to become more “social” and earn a positive impact on your business.
What has been the impact of social media marketing on business?
When I started out social media marketing, back in 2009 and 2010, social media was a tremendous platform to get business from.
All you had to do was post something that was somewhat interesting and people would respond.
I think were coming to a place in social media where the newness of it has worn off. I can say on a personal level that I don’t use Facebook like I used to. It is something that I just don’t do. Not because I’m not interested, I just don’t feel like I need to share myself all the time and every single thing I’m doing.
That keeps me from feeling burnout and like I have some control in a world where we really don’t have much control over anything.
Some recent statistics are backing up my personal experience.
According to a newly released CNBC article that reported on a new study that just came out, people are spending much less time on social media apps for smartphones and tablets, which account for the majority of time spent on social media.
“Facebook’s Instagram saw the biggest year-over-year drop — usage was down 23.7 percent this year, closely followed by Twitter (down 23.4 percent), Snapchat (down 15.7 percent) and Facebook (down 8 percent), the study found.”
Don’t be misled, when you are talking about users in the billions there are still a lot of people using social media actively and often.
While I’m not as active on social media as I used to be, I still enjoy sharing my personal experiences and journey with my followers.
I shared a bike ride that I went on yesterday and some of the scenery around Lancaster County, PA.
I’ve been asked, “Why do you post personal things on social media as a business owner?
It’s because I want those who connect with me a social media to feel like they know me and have some things in common with me.
Isn’t that the point about social media?
The Point of Social Media is to be Social, Not to Sell
Isn’t the point of social media to be social?
I don’t want to just be on social media pushing things and selling and nor should you.
I want to give people a reason to feel like they’re getting to know me and to feel like they identify with me; and in some feel like they have something in common with me.
People do business with people that they know like and trust, and even proceeding that I often talk about competency. But let’s assume for the moment that people already feel like you are competent.
Why would they want to follow you on any given social media platform?
It’s the idea that we have something in common and that we identify with one another.
I think that can really have a positive impact in the social media environment around things we have in common.
It could be movies, music, sports we like to watch or participate in; or any other host of things that enrich our lives.
It can’t just be about posting our “stuff” and it can’t always just be about asking people to buy.
There has to be more.
The more is the feeling that they are getting to know us through our personal experiences and our journey.
That’s what they’re connecting with.
They are not connecting with us so that we can sell them something.
While it’s true that people love to buy, it’s also equally true that they don’t like to be sold.
Social Media and American Airlines – Taking a Negative and Making it a Positive
Social media has become an incredible place for people to express what they don’t like.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen that over the last five or six years that people love to talk about the experiences that they have that they don’t like.
What social media does allow us to do, if were not aware that there are problems, is connect with people around the problems that they’re having with our businesses and find the solutions for them.
One of the companies that does this extraordinarily well is American Airlines.
I remember reading stories of some of their Twitter engagement and it was impressive. I was even more impressed when a friend shared her experience with American Airlines on Twitter.
She headed to Chicago on a warm summer day for a wedding and she got into a situation where the plane had maintenance issues on the ground and was delayed. She was afraid she was going to be running behind and would be late to the rehearsal dinner.
By the time they got into the air it looked like they were going to cut it really close.
She read online that they were going to be backups getting into the airport thanks to the weather. You have to love in-flight internet service!
She tried numerous times to get flight attendant’s attention but they ignored her and said they would get there when we get there kind of thing. There was no information coming from the pilots either.
She took matters into her own hands and went on Twitter to complain about the lack of information coming from the flight crew, and she tagged American Airlines.
American Airlines apparently has a response center just for Twitter.
Apparently they continually monitor what’s being said about them and somebody picked up on it. Within four minutes she got a response from their center in Fort Worth, TX. Their tweet gave her an estimated arrival time and they apologize profusely that the flight crew was not giving them status updates.
it was the funniest thing she said because within five minutes the flight crew started giving regular updates.
Engaging on Social Media with Raving Fans
We have people out there that are also raving fans. You know, those who become our biggest cheerleaders and referral sources.
These folks are our champions and we have to remember that social media is a two-way street.
It doesn’t matter if you’re using Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
Sometimes, we get into these habits where all we want to do is talk about ourselves but it’s not always about us.
Attracting a new social media visitor or potential follower and converting them into a raving fan has more to do with how we engage with them around their material than it does how they engage with us around ours. If we make ourselves open and accessible the impact can be absolutely huge.
Social Media Examiner Report Reveals How Marketers Feel
Social Media Examiner just came out with their Social Media Marketing industry Report for 2016 and revealed some very useful and interesting information about marketer experiences.
One of the things they asked the more than 5000 marketers was:
“We asked marketers to rate their agreement with the following statement: “For me, marketing with social media is harder than it was 12 months ago.”
The results were a bit shocking… 40% of marketers agreed that social media marketing has become more difficult in the last 12 months.
That’s all! I’m not sure they either understood the question or that this group represents a statistical norm.
Everything I’ve seen over the last six months has indicated how challenging social media is becoming.
The most interesting number to me; 27% were uncertain.
What does that say about those who are uncertain?
It says they are probably not tracking any social media metrics and that they’re just posting stuff without any purpose or intention.
Maybe that’s why only 40% think it’s becoming more difficult?
Should Businesses Be Paying for Access to Social Media?
I don’t think there is any question that it has gotten harder to reach an organic audience on virtually every social media platform and Facebook is admitted to throttling back organic posts for business pages.
They want businesses and fan pages to pay for access to their audience.
It makes sense why.
There are very legitimate reasons why social media companies would want businesses to pay for access to their audience and it’s not because Facebook’s greedy. They should make money and they deserve to make money.
They built the platform and they built the audience, so I don’t have a problem with them charging a fee to advertise or reach their audience.
I know a lot of people do have a problem with it but here is the core reason why don’t have a problem with it: it is because I I follow a lot of pages and I don’t want my personal feed filled up with every single thing that everybody’s posting.
I don’t want to see it all and I want to see what is relevant and important to me on a regular basis, not an occasional one.
Once a week I like to go to different pages and see what they’re posting and then I’ll interact with them.
So, I think there’s a legitimate reason why social media applications like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter don’t show us everything. If they did we probably couldn’t see it all.
I have no problem using the service for free if businesses want to support it through non-intrusive advertising and marketing.
How Can Your Business Having an Impact Through Social Media without Paying for It?
With all that said, social media has had a massive and profound impact on business and for free.
The biggest impact from social media is:
1) The ability to engage with your prospects.
How are you interacting with them?
Are they interacting with you or do they feel like you’re just giving them another form of spam?
Do you reply to comments quickly on Facebook or LinkedIn?
If they Tweet your post do you retweet them and thank them for sharing?
You have to let them know that there’s a real person behind the name of the business.
That’s a really big deal!
2) For those who are your customers, how are you engaging with them?
How are you communicating with them?
How are you following up with them?
3) The key to getting the most out of social media is to be social.
If you’re not going to be “social” then what’s the point?
Social media is not about you sharing your “stuff.” It’s about developing relationships through competency, trust and common experiences.
Social media can and ought to be a relationship enhancing tool.
I can tell you one of the biggest impacts on my own business comes from connecting with people offline and then taking them online via social media.
When I am at speaking events or networking events it’s a great opportunity for me to connect with people I met on social media. I always start with LinkedIn but I also ask if they are on Facebook and Twitter.
It’s a tremendous way to develop a resource that really allows me to go beyond email.
It’s a way to connect with those I’ve met and begin building bridges of commonality, competency and trust.
I love to show them that I’m a real person who has real interest and does real things.
Have Fun with Social Media!
If I can leave you with one piece of advice it’s this; have fun with social media!
It doesn’t always have to be so stuffy, serious and targeted.
There is a time and a place for everything and having some fun should be a part of it.
One impact that social media should have on your business is making a business more lighthearted and more fun and in the process a lot more appealing to your prospects and customers.
Not only will you appear fun to your followers, you will actually be training yourself to have fun in real life and in business.
Do you have a thought, idea or question? I would love to engage with you in the comments. Please share and let’s have fun learning from one another.