We have all seen them haven’t we: on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere with a bio that reads something like “Social media guru, thought leader, social media marketing expert”. Initially, you’re impressed and then you check their account and see that they have 25 followers and only follow 1 or 2 themselves. How can somebody who is a “guru” in this field have just that following and nothing to indicate that this is just a new account ? Yet, all too often, I hear of people who entrust their social media accounts on the basis of the bio alone and without looking at what is behind it.
Sometimes, I try to picture taking this kind of approach being taken in hotels and serviced apartments and it really keeps coming back to something like the headline of this post. Obviously, no hotelier would place that advertisement but many follow that practice. You wouldn’t advertise “Executive Head Chef needed – no experience required” so why entrust management of your social media marketing with a “guru” who cannot demonstrate credentials beyond a small number of followers ?
Social media marketing is not simply about quantity of followers. It is very much about quality of followers and quality of engagement. I was talking to a prospective client recently about building up his Facebook page, which had lacked attention for some time, and he said to me “Oh, I have 850 friends I can get to ‘Like’ it”. All well and good, but I had to ask how many of those friends were actually prospective clients for his business and the answer, of course, was “none”. Social media marketing for business is different in very many ways from using Facebook, Google+, Instagram and Twitter to keep your friends and family up to date with your latest activities and thoughts.
At this point, I have to mention that it is true that SmartOtels does only have (at the moment of writing) 550 Twitter followers, 115 LinkedIn company page followers, 99 Facebook followers and 50 Google+ followers (figures updated at 27.07). But keep in mind that SmartOtels has been in existence for less than 5 weeks and followers are growing in these places all of the time – undoubtedly some of these numbers will be outdated at the time you read this. More importantly, SmartOtels has considerable experience of running social media marketing for other clients, with much larger numbers of followers.
Social Media Marketing is a combination of art and science with a steep learning curve, many distractions and many pitfalls. Once you have decided what you want to get out of social media, the other decisions just start with which social media channels it is appropriate for your business to be participating in – because it is not the same answer for every business. You need to have a cohesive social media marketing strategy, which will lay out the approach you are going to take, where and who is going to be involved – are you going to invite team members to participate, for example, and, if so, are they aware of your objectives ?
Just as you would not place the advertisement that forms the headline of this post, why would you put social media marketing (and its ROI) in the hands of someone with no real experience to point to ? You are making an investment – whether it is simply time or actually parting with cash. Wouldn’t you want to place that investment in a company that has achieved a good ROI from this activity ? Please feel free to leave a comment below.
For more information, contact:
Matthew Brooks Joaquin Cababie
07808 068 282 0778 925 1395