Social media understanding is still largely in its infancy. Being labeled a “social media expert” in 2013 is sort of like being called a doctor in the Medieval Times. The exact parameters for for the label and what it means might be foggy, but a swarm of people are fascinated enough by it to take the reigns and pave the way for an essential industry.
Managing your social media pages certainly isn’t as important as, say, inventing penicillin, but with 22 percent of online time spent on social media and 65 percent of the the world’s companies on Twitter, according to The Social Skinny, social media is becoming an integral part of giving your business a pulse. What are you doing to breath life into your business via social media?
Taking Advice With A Grain of Salt
When you do a search for “Social Media Expert,” Google comes up with over 530 million results. What does that say about the state of social media knowledge?
Success.com calls Twitter a global chat room of influencers who don’t really know what they’re doing there. Mari Smith, president of the Social Media Association advises that, when it comes to your business, it’s absolutely essential to have a clear objective, similar to how you would run a traditional ad campaign.
Smith goes on to explain that many businesses view social media as a potential ATM, a ticket to sales and customers, but that just isn’t the case. Social media is simply a way to get your message out there, only more interactive than traditional advertisements. There isn’t one way or even a dominant school of thought when it comes to social media practices, so be wary of die-hards who offer too-good-to-be-true solutions.
photo by Modern Relics
Forging Your Own Path
Everything you do online helps build or diminish your brand’s reputation, and that includes boring, uninspired posts and negative customer reviews. Not everyone is going to love your business, and this will become much more evident as it grows. Forging a brand image for your company is essential to being perceived how you want online, and developing a voice and sticking to a unique course of action can help immensely.
Reputation.com advises that sometimes it’s necessary to delete irrelevant or accidental posts for the sake of your brand, while offering customers many opportunities to submit feedback and review in a positive light. Jeffrey Hayzlett, Kodak’s chief marketing officer reminds us that social media isn’t something you just try and let fizzle out, it requires upkeep and perseverance.
Putting in the Hours
Gary Vaynerchuk wanted to promote a YouTube series he made for his family’s retail wine business, and he was bound and determined to use social media to bolster his fan and customer base. Vaynerchuk calls his series “Wine Library TV,” and spends about twenty minutes taping it. He then took to social media and began promoting it. It took him hours upon hours to tap into his initial fan base, but once he did that it started to grow naturally. Although he says it takes six to 24 months to see real results, the time and effort and effect it has on a reputation is worth it. Authenticity, passion and perseverance are the cornerstones of building your reputation online —because you are what you tweet.