Despite all the gradual sophistication of social media strategies and tools, conversations are still the most important thing on social media. Regardless of the size of your organization or company, starting from the bottom, with few followers on Twitter and few contacts on Facebook, is the ideal way to immerse yourself in the world of social media for the first time.
Brian Sheehan, who covers this topic in his article for Ad Age Digital , mentions two predominant concerns for CEOs when considering their involvement in social media, the first is to mitigate threats to their reputation, and the second is to take advantage of viral marketing opportunities. . I think that both interests are opposed when you start “big” on the networks, you want to reach a high number of followers and fans in a short time so that our messages achieve a greater impact, due to inexperience, you risk committing errors that will also reach the same large audience, obtaining a disaster of greater proportions.
On more than one occasion community managers have approached with the concern that their company wants a rapid growth in the number of followers on Twitter and fans on Facebook and ask me for advice to achieve this increase, someone even confessed to me that they resorted to buying of followers for his company on Twitter due to the increasing pressure he was receiving from his superiors. This situation is very common, but also very unfortunate, in addition to being a poor results strategy.
It is when we prematurely see that these new accounts on Twitter running contests to win a product or tickets for a concert, their objective is not to listen or guide the consumer, nor is it to improve the image of their brand or inform about the news of their products, your goal is to gain followers as fast as possible, and how many mistakes have we seen made in those contests, right?
Let’s assume that the external social media consultant, I say “suppose” because I would like to think that he is doing the right thing, he recommends his clients to manage their conversations and messages on social networks themselves. Because these companies are participating in the networks for the first time, there is a lot of inexperience and fear of being wrong, having a small number of followers and fans allows the conversations to be controlled, to be developed in a relaxed way and with the attention they deserve. .
When starting with a high number of followers and fans, it is impossible to learn to listen and analyze at the same time, it is not only impossible to control the conversations, not because they are presented in large numbers, on the contrary, because it is simply very difficult to occur. Conversations lose priority when you want your messages to reach many people and not one at a time. He loses his attention to the individual and concentrates on a large group of people you don’t know. Two-way communication is in danger of being lost, or never being achieved. That is not social media.
How to start small
We believe that it is important for our organization to be present on Facebook, to have a Twitter account, to cover blogs that talk about our industry, to socialize our site and open a blog, to upload videos to YouTube … and more and more and more, to cover all networks and control everything that is talked about us, that is our goal right? Terrible mistake.
If your activities on the networks are not going to allow you to get involved and start conversations with people who are interested in your brand or product and follow up on communication, then you should ask yourself whether it is worthwhile to participate in social networks or if It is better to continue investing in advertising on the Web.
In general, only one person is in charge of representing the company in the networks, it is better to start with a single task and request and cover more tasks and resources as you achieve objectives and master activities. Not because there are currently sophisticated monitoring and measurement tools that should be used, not because we know complex strategies we are going to use them.
Do not try to follow examples of other organizations that we consider successful in their communication on the networks, do not try to “reach them” in what they do in social media. Analyze your goals well before you start, and take one step at a time, at your own pace. The feedback from consumers will give you the guideline and will show you the way forward , that your strategies are born there and not from what your competition does or from what we call “success stories”.
Do not forget that conversations and the individual consumer experience are the most important , this is regardless of the level of growth of your brand in social media. Already in second term come the aforementioned tools and the application of the ROI calculation (if applicable) and other marketing resources that will have to be implemented as the case may be. Not because marketing is of great support for social media, we should confuse it with social media, they can go hand in hand but they are not the same. Likewise, we must be clear that social media campaigns are not social media, we will talk about that later.
The “expert” in social media will overwhelm you with strategies, resources, and methodologies , their blogs are often a tool to try to demonstrate how much they know and promote themselves, not to help you start or continue your activities on social networks, they will not overwhelm you with so much information and terminology. Some people are more interested in their personal brand than in sharing knowledge.
Remember: Starting small is the best Social Media strategy.