6 Steps For Dealing With Social Media Fatigue
Having watched, observed and implemented many of the current social media tools, I felt I was in fairly good shape toward the end of 2011. I got a little confused by Google+, but it went in OK, although very few people seem to be using it. Then came Pinterest. Again, installation was easy, but for me and many of our clients, its applicability to hi-tech B2B is unclear.
2012 has brought a new wave of applications and platforms which, along with the push toward using video and mobile applications, has me wondering if social media is the next bubble. It is unclear where to put scarce resources, especially since the return on existing tools has a limited track record, with one blogger reporting that only 13% of B2B companies drive leads with social media. Should I chase after Highlight, Glancee, Banjo, Chime.In, Scrolldit and others?
As with everything related to consumers and businesses, the competitive arena will thin out over time, but backing the wrong horse early can be costly. Imagine believing that the Stanley Steamer was the car of the future, that DC current was the form electricity to use, or that MySpace was the way to reach your buyers. In the past, reasonable people chose all these options.
Another element contributing to my fatigue is that “expert” advice is conflicting. One group urges companies to get involved in social media as quickly as possible, and to engage with the customers and buyers immediately. But another group of “experts” strongly suggests that you do everything right, that an error resulting in negative customer perception is very difficult to overcome, in short be like Zappos out of the gate.
Sifting through this overload of choices and advice, I am urging our B2B clients to do the following, once their strategy and objectives are in place:
1. Today, before they begin working with you buyers know about your product and services. Recognizing this, allocating resources to your web site and establishing industry thought leadership is job one. To generate leads, one must cover all aspects of SEO, along with developing integrated marketing campaigns that nurture leads, while maintaining brand and position. To obtain thought leadership, blogging, speaking, writing articles and commenting on applicable groups is mandatory. These elements must be covered both well and completely before any diversion into social media.
2. Find out which social media tool the bulk of your buyers use, be it Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
3. Implement your social media offering on and around that platform.
4. Ensure that the organization is prepared for the commitment, in time and resources, to meet the needs/demands of your involvement regarding both the website and social media platform.
5. Measure your results at 3, 6 and 12 month intervals.
6. Ignore, for the present, the buzz surrounding the “next best thing” in the social media space. There will be major and niche players that may or may not be useful to you. In the short term, let them establish themselves and let the dust settle before allocating resources to them.
Dealing with social media is difficult and time/resource consuming. If you are not careful, it can cause you to lose focus on what is really important, which is generating leads and promoting your brand. The path to success lies on keeping your social media efforts simple, and measuring your progress on a regular basis.
How tired are you when it comes to social media?