Social media is an effective way to start building brand awareness around your services and products. Unfortunately most brands get this simple channel wrong. They set up their profile, probably use a compelling image and go on the ego tripping route; building more followers.
I have seen companies celebrate their 20,000th fans with so much fun-fare; I started wondering if getting more followers or fans is the major reason for getting on social media platforms in the first place.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a huge follower base. In fact, recently I started thinking of how to increase my followers on twitter and then like everything else, I stopped for a moment to ask myself some salient questions.
These are the kind of questions I usually ask when analysing any marketing channel or platform and answers from these questions has always guided my decisions. With the rate of noise available on twitter, facebook and other social media platform, focusing on the wrong metric will not help your business.
Have you stopped to wonder how many re-tweets or likes a brand with sometimes 20,000 followers get. Often times it is as low as 6. This means less than 1% of their followers were actually interacting with their content. Some will say it is due to the algorithms of some of these platforms. Others will give dozens of reasons and try to justify it. But I would say “You got it all wrong folks”.
And I am going to prove it with these points;
Let us take these two points one after the other
Why are you on that social media platform?
If we decide to take the simplest definition of what social media means from Wikipedia, you will find it describing social media as computer-mediated tool that allows people to create, share or exchange ideas or information in a virtual environment.
If you take the definition further and ask for the meaning of social media marketing, you will get something that says social media marketing is the process of gaining website traffic through the use of social media.
Businesses joined the band wagon of getting on social media platform without understanding the meaning and use of social media. Social media can help you get traffic to your website; it can help you build relationships with prospective clients. It can even help you solve some of your customers complaints, but the bottom line is that it must help you improve your business.
And this led me to my second question.
What metrics are you focusing on?
Since the advent of social media, businesses have been in the rat race. They go after building huge followers forgetting that the use of social media is to help them gain traffic to their website and improve their business. By focusing on vanity metrics like quantity of followers rather than quality, they miss out on the most important benefit of a digital marketing channel.
So what metrics should you rather focus on?
Quality of followers – Building quality followers should be the most important metric. If you buy your followers or get them the wrong way, you are going to have a huge base of people who do not have any idea of what your brand stands for and who will never buy from you. Rather invest growing your followers by proving and sharing quality information that your target audience will appreciate.
If you build quality followers, these followers will engage with your content, visit your website and ultimately become your brand ambassadors.
He is the head of search at VTNS Solutions, a search engine marketing firm in Nigeria. His hobbies include playing chess and reading. His twitter handle is @legendcrest .
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