Does it feel like social media “strategy” has digressed into a digital popularity contest? “We have 10,000 Twitter followers!” or “Look at the engagement with our 85,000 Facebook Fans!” seems to be supplanting results with meaning: selling products and services.
Yes, Likes and Followers are a loose indicators of audience size. And engagement is fairly easy to track based on interactions. But with Facebook reaching only about 44% of US audiences and Twitter a little more than 9% (we won’t even touch on the number of regular users), the limitation of a volume strategy is evident.
We’ve always held the PR philosophy that while a lot of coverage is good, a tangible result is only achieved when a client’s revenue needle is moved. Likewise, a valid social media outcome is not making lots of noise, but how to funnel and convert it into sales.
Fine if your SM plan is geared to getting more eyeballs on a company or product. But once potential customers are looking your way, what will drive them to open their wallets? A social strategy can only take an audience so far, but one that leaves them at the door will fall short of accomplishing the company’s ultimate objective.
With the end-goal of new customers, consider how multiple components of the sales and marketing channel need to link as you develop social media strategy. For example: build audience > content strategy > engagement > call to action > transaction mechanism > sale > delivery. Social media is an important part of this but of equal significance is where it lets potential customers off, and how the marketing machine moves them to action.