For what I’m going to discuss today, there are a few premises that this argument is based on. First, it assumes that you know that you, your brand, or both, need social media.
It also operates on the assumption that you’re familiar with this type of data found here: the data that explains how social media has helped 92% of brands increase their exposure. From lead generation to growing partnerships to improved search rankings, there isn’t a whole lot of doubt for marketers these days that social media is a must (if anything to just keep up with competition).
So, this isn’t an argument to convince someone to use social media, or that you should be on it, because by 2014, social media is a standard practice for just about any brand. Facebook isn’t brand-new anymore and there are analytics and insights beyond our wildest beliefs.
Social media is an amazing tool and it’s pretty clear from the data from companies such as Forbes, Entrepreneur and FastCompany that it must be used in order to remain relevant (sure, there might be exceptions to this rule, but the general tenets are the same). The brands I work with, for the most part, understand that they need social media. They don’t, however, understand what it is, does, or how it can work for their industry. Retailers and restaurants don’t tend to have lots of questions like this, but companies like manufacturing, government agencies, home contractors, factories, property management companies, housing developers, and more all have the same question: how could social media possibly work for my business/company?
It’s a different type of work than posting updates of new arrivals or the special of the week. Take a luxury home contractor, for instance. They’re selling million-dollar, custom crafted homes– would someone really buy that off social media? How could Twitter drive a new build when it’s such an extraordinary purchase? This is just an example, but everybody wonders how their brand could exist on social media.
First and foremost: don’t sell yourself (or your brand) short by assuming nothing you do is worth posting. That’s kind of one of the best parts about the Internet–it finds ways to connect people with similar interests. If someone has an interest in manufacturing or property management, they will find you.
Secondly, having something is better than nothing. Even if you’re on a limited plan and post once a week to update your followers on what you’re doing, your brand is still at the forefront of their mind and still relevant. So, when they need to learn more about manufacturing, they’ll have somewhere to look that they wouldn’t have before (for example, GE on Instagram, as pictured above.)
Thirdly, even companies that sell million-dollar custom homes need to remain relevant to customers of tomorrow. Sure, they have a good pool of people building now, but the next generation is on social media. Maybe a child will fall in love with the Instagram account and recommend a brand to the parents.
The key is not to underestimate yourself and not to underestimate your brand. Remember that everything you do, no matter how unique, is worth following through with a social media account.
Image credit: CC by SuperJet International