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Could You Be Following Others In the Wrong Direction?

It’s no secret that social media is here to stay. It’s become a part of most marketing strategies and organizations are pouring a lot of money into social experts, marketing staff with social media skills, social media plug-ins, integration and advertising. Afterall, 72% of all Internet users are now active on social media (jeffbullas.com). But is social media right for all organizations? Is it right for yours, or could you be following others in the wrong direction?

  1. 1.

    Does my brand or organization lend itself well to social media? Do people talk about it, share it, or want to stay updated on it?

  2. 2.

    Do we have relevant and creative ways to engage and build an audience? Can we offer incentives, promote sales, create a game, or share unique information? Research shows that 90% of users following brands on social media do it for promotions or discounts (getspokal.com)

  3. 3.

    Do you have the resources to devote to creating new content, finding content to share, interacting with other brands and followers, answering questions and lending expertise?

  4. 4.

    Will you track your progress and know if you’re successful? Most popular social networks allow you to measure your metrics. There are also more in-depth tracking and reporting programs that you can use, but they only make sense if you’re really invested. 

  5. 5.

    What are you hoping to gain from social media? Identify what it is that you hope to get… is it to establish your organization as an expert, increase sales, or generate brand recognition? You have to know your purpose or goal to develop a strategy.

  6. 6.

    Have you done your research? Are your competitors out there? Do they seem to be finding success in the realm? Have you identified which social networks your target audience is using and which ones are best suited to your social strategy or goals?  Is there an audience passionately interested in what your organization does? It’s ok to say no. 

  7. 7.

    Have you evaluated the difference between having a social presence and being actively involved in social networking? Know where you fall so that you don’t waste time wavering between the two while never really committing to either one. 

  8. 8.

    Are you doing it right? If you do find that it’s beneficial to have a presence on social media, but don’t find value in full-on participation and investment, that’s cool. Just be sure people can find your social media pages (link from your site), have a correctly sized and high resolution logo on your page and post some type of valuable content on a semi-regular basis. 

  9. 9.

    Do you have staff that can work on social media? When organizations are wavering on social media, they seem to either put an intern in charge or take it on themselves. If you’re serious about social, make sure you put someone in charge that understands marketing, branding, and communication, or outsource it. Trust this person to test the audience, find a fit and grow your presence. It takes patience. Committing to social media means giving staff time to grow it, and trusting them to do it.

  10. 10.

    Is it helping your brand? Poorly managed or incomplete social media pages send a bad message. Social media pages that you don’t keep current are as bad as having a website that you don’t keep current; it’s an extension of your brand and requires upkeep.

These questions should give you a pretty good idea of whether social networking is right for your brand or at least get you thinking about areas for change. If you’re a retailer or sell a popular product or service, social networking is probably worth pursing. If you’re a manufacturer of a component for a niche product, you might struggle to find an audience (or even a reason to). Knowing why, why not or how much to get on board is one of the most important considerations. Have more specific questions or want to discuss your social media presence? Contact Greenleaf Media now. 

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