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Monday, 21 December 2015

Member Blog: The One Secret You Need to Master Social Media

By Zahid Hussain - Creative Director, Script Social Media 
Social media is a minefield.

One company I know spent £5,000 each month on social media for over a year and failed to garner a single lead. Another company spends half a million pounds on Google Ads alone and tens of thousands more on social media ads and is making millions. Which company would you rather be? But more importantly, what separates companies that succeed in social media from those which don’t?

I have a theory; do you remember the line, “Build it and he will come?” It’s from the 1989 movie “Field of Dreams” starring Kevin Costner. Hollywood movies end happily, but when companies adopt the Build-It-And-They-Will-Come approach, they always fail.

Businesses spend thousands on websites, dazzling logos and on glowing social media covers, but when the prophesised customers do not materialise, they jump to buying likes and followers to lure customers their way. But customers still don’t come. Soon, companies discover that creating new material for the litany of social media platforms becomes a chore and inevitably the content dries up. Social media accounts turn into a no-man’s-land.

So, what do you need to succeed in the heady world of social media? You need one thing. The right mind-set.

I have crystallised the mind-set into 4 pillars. Social Media:

1. Echoes the real world.
2. Is not a soap box.
3. Is where the sale starts.
4. Isn’t really free.

Social Media Echoes the Real World

If you’re famous or successful in the real world, you’ll find you’re famous on social media. A well-known restaurant that springs up on Instagram will attract followers in buckets. If this doesn’t happen then it’s because they haven’t told anyone in the real world. One restaurant I know asks its regulars to post Trip-advisor reviews. So ask: it works!

Social Media is NOT a soap box

Social media is well, social. Engagement is the beating heart of social media. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. Retweet and like other people’s posts. Connect with businesses; connect with customers. Tell your story, but listen to theirs too. In fact, customers often use social media to complain. Reputation management is therefore essential for those sorts of companies.

Social Media is where the Sale STARTS

A sale doesn’t take place on the social media platform, but it might start there. You need to funnel leads to a website, a phone number, a face-to-face meeting.

It isn’t free

Facebook limits how many people can see the posts on a Facebook page. Even if you have a million likes, less than 5% will ever see a post. And if you’ve bought fake Likes, there will be zero engagement. You must pay for social ads; it’s just the way it is. That goes for other platforms too.

You can successfully navigate through the social media minefield if you approach it with the right mind-set, and then, once you’ve built your social media platforms, I promise you that customers will come and they will keep returning.

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