The question I’ve posted at the end of my previous blog post touches on one of the fundamental questions in marketing. Everybody “knows” it’s the good thing to do, but how do you actually know that you efforts deliver extra value? Especially for an Entrepreneur, who needs to allocate his time wisely, this value needs to be delivered yesterday rather then today.
While I’d like to get back on the issue of valuation later on, I would like to mention the steps that I think a social media strategy should cover and what results one should expect of social media.
Learning how to walk with social media.
A couple of days ago I noticed a post by Wildfire, who performed a survey of over 700 social media marketeers from around the world between September and November 2011.
One of their interesting conclusions is that the market (see their infographic below) is focussing on engaging and growing their fan base. The focus has yet to be on monetizing. Does this mean that there is no monetization of social media?
Of course not. However, a social media strategy takes time. You can’t approach random people on the streets and expect them to buy your product without ever hearing from you. Even if it is a good product or service, most will reject. You’ll need careful
marketing and some reputation in order to be able to sell. Social media is no different in that respect. Make sure you’re known and have a conversation, only then you might be able to reap the benefits.
Social media therefore takes time. And might require you to invest more than you will receive in the early stages. This is no different than traditional marketing. In my opinion social media is past the “hype phase” and is a medium that should be taken seriously. One should not expect miracles and work with the pros and cons that are definitely there. Remember the steps – 1. Grow, 2. Engage and 3. Monetize – while figuring out your optimal social media strategy.
In the mean time, take a look at a good example. See below the conclusions from Wildfire and notice their social media strategy. They make themselves known and generate this conversation on the internet. Their current focus is on growing and engaging. After the conversation you might perceive them as reliable and remember them when you’ll need a solution to grow, engage and monetize your customers through social media. That monetization is the last step for them, but might be your first. Grow and engage. Good luck!