The business function of Social Media is to spread the message, and make sales. Each platform differs in the balance between the “Social” and “business” focus but nevertheless, they are essentially the digital equivalent of a social gathering. Some are the digital Sunday BBQ of a group of friends, while others are more like the voluntary after work drinks of the sales reps, sharing things of common interest, but usually about their successes, quotas, problem customers, and bitching about the boss.
Having fun is great, it helps the quality of the output enormously, but the objective is commercial, and so the investment of time and resources should be considered in the context of all the other investment options a business faces.
To effectively spread the message, there are a few seemingly simple, but in fact really hard things that need to be determined and done.
- What is the message I need to spread?
- To whom should I spread it?
- What can I do in return for those who take the time to absorb and hopefully respond to my message?
This last one is really important, and often overlooked, as the “social” part of social media takes over. As in life, there is a principal that always works, “Reciprocity”.
Doing something for someone sets up a psychological “balance” of favours, and doing one for someone, is like putting a favour in the bank, when you come to make a withdrawal, there is something in the account.
Like any account, you can overdraw with prior arrangement, but sometimes the interest rates become a bit onerous, so having a positive balance is always a good idea.
Social Media is not a very good vehicle for sales, it is “Social” and sales in a social context grate, (when was the last time you knowingly asked a committed Amway rep to the friendly Sunday BBQ?), but it is a great vehicle for accruing favors, and reciprocal rights to be cashed in later.
Social Media is however, a great set of platforms for the generation, storing and sharing of information of all sorts, and if information is the lifeblood of commerce, as we all accept, it seems like a good place to be making a few investments.
When you need help sorting through the myriad of options, give me a call.