Quit Counting. Social Media Isn’t About The Numbers …

Quit Counting. Social Media Isn’t About The Numbers …

Or fans.

Or followers.

Or friends.

Confused? Many people are. Most of us have been programmed to think that everything in life is about the numbers. How many minutes you’ve used. How much you weigh. How many screen hours your kids view each day. How many units you’ve sold. How much money you’ve made.

The world is abuzz about social media. Every day we see more and more posts about the top 5, 4, 10 things to do in social media to be successful. Those lists continue to grow each day as people and marketers beta test social media.  We’ve begun to think less about everything you should do and more about the huge mistakes you should avoid. There is not a comprehensive list of surefire methods for social media anymore than there is a guarantee it will be profitable for you.  But, we will be sharing some tips about some mistakes everyone should avoid.

It doesn’t matter the medium for your message. The response is the same. Was that worth my time to read and digest the message? Mainly, was it worth the inconvenience? This response doesn’t change with social media. Getting someone on a social media network to “opt in” to hear your marketing message is half the battle. Don’t think that this gives you the right to blast that marketing message to people whenever you want. If this is your approach to social media marketing, expect your followers and fans to opt out.

The ideal scenario is to establish a forum in which people are willing to exchange their time and attention for marketing messages with value. Just because traditional media is “dying” doesn’t mean that this dynamic is changed with the ever evolving “new media.”

Traditional and paid media can be leveraged to generate more fans and followers. Look at a number of recent TV ads that are driving traffic to their facebook pages rather than to a product or even a website. But, the question is what do you do with that individual once they have become your fan? A fan does not guarantee any future marketing opportunities, but it does provide a highly superior tool for data collection and demographic insights for future communication. Given the appropriate combination and environment, marketers can mix in marketing messaging among other content. But don’t misinterpret social media as the new soapbox for marketing or as a “free media.” Social media has value. Social media has benefit. But, benefit will always mean costs.

Just as with high quality traditional media, social media marketing results should yield a person’s undivided attention and give marketers the ability to deliver a marketing message to its full extent.  If you are looking to drive fans or followers through social media, remember what value and benefit you are bringing to them. What will motivate them to opt in and continue to listen to your message? Just consider your junk email box or unidentified calls to your cell phone. Don’t end up in the unanswered call log or in the junk feeds folder. Make sure that your tweets and fan page are giving something back to your fans. If your content and your message through social media networks don’t motivate interactions, it won’t motivate your fans and followers to do much else. Most of all, don’t end up wondering why you are exhausting all of your time and resources on social networking and no one is talking back.

Written by: Sara Paxton, managing partner, CTO, and Social Media Officer of Evans Media Group, Kansas City’s Social Media Agency, a boutique agency located in Overland Park, KS that specializes in traditional marketing, social media marketing, online marketing, and public relations.

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