Why Social Media is NOT Effective As Advertising (Well Sort Of)

Today, I’d like to talk about a trend I’ve observed. It’s a trend that’s turning into an engagement epidemic in social media. It uses polls and questions to try to create more attention, thinking that will create more sales. Some of these polls will get a thousand people to check […]

Today, I’d like to talk about a trend I’ve observed. It’s a trend that’s turning into an engagement epidemic in social media. It uses polls and questions to try to create more attention, thinking that will create more sales. Some of these polls will get a thousand people to check one of the boxes, but my question is, does it lead to the opportunity to have a sales conversation? Well, maybe. When you get down to business, the only thing that matters is sales, right?

When somebody posts a question and they get a ton of people answering it, or they do a poll and they get say a thousand people going in and taking their poll, does it really lead to business?

Success Tips?

I’ve seen all kinds of tips and tricks over the years, but I’m here to tell you, it just depends on who you’re talking to and how you measure success. If you measure success by engagement, then yeah, it’s very successful. If you measure success by sales, that’s a different story.

Let’s Try THIS?

I had a client who tried everything. We set up a handful of websites for specific areas of their business, and each one had its own blog. For years, that drove a lot of traffic specifically back to those websites, but they got so busy, they stopped actually blogging. Then, they came to me for some advice. They wanted to check on a company that would do ghost posting for them.

Now, I told them not to ghost post, just repost some of the old blogs and put them on social media, especially LinkedIn. Well, I’m here to tell you those results have been outstanding, but there was still pushback.

They said to me, it felt like advertising. Well, it is, sort of, but it’s not. It’s about awareness and getting the right people to take action when a topic resonates with them.

Because people at the company are all connected, they saw each other’s posts and they felt like their audience was seeing their information too much. But each person has their own unique contacts, usually around 150. So that information spoke to their audiences, but they felt like it was just speaking to them and that’s because they were measuring the engagement on those posts, not the results.

Creating Conversations

Start with posting articles and not ads. Not everyone will respond to every single post. That’s why we set up those different blogs because if people needed service A, they would pay attention to that. If people needed service B, they’d pay attention to that. It would drive them back to a website meant to capture their information. So not every post that everybody had on their profiles was attracting exactly the right person for them, but it was attracting a group of people towards that business.

Second, it’s about amplification. Some of the team members bogged at posting about one of the services that they didn’t specialize in, but what makes this system work is it’s about promoting the company and its range of services. It’s not going to benefit just one particular person and their line of business.

Third, it’s about relevance. People were looking at their own or coworkers’ accounts and saying, man, this is too much. But what they didn’t realize is the algorithm limits who sees what. So if you go look at a specific person’s profile, yes, you will see a lot of stuff, but in the newsfeed, not everybody is going to see that much information.

Advertising vs Social Media

How do we differentiate between what most people think social media is and advertising? Well, advertising is about awareness. Think about the ads that annoy you the most on TV, or even on the radio. “1877-KARS-4-KIDS. KARS, cars for kids”. You know the rest of it. It just drives me nuts, but it does get your attention, right?

Ads are there to create a shortcut to sales, but there are no shortcuts in building B2B relationships. What happens in the B2B world is different. Ads that create awareness can work when you have a structure for action in place and measure the right results. More on that later.

Social media is about engagement. It’s not a popularity contest, but that’s the way that people tend to measure it. Polls and questions are the things that create the most engagement, but are they getting results? That’s the key. You have to determine what results you want and results are measured in actions, sales, calls, conversations.

If people see your posts, they may click through to that content, but being top of mind matters when somebody says, do you know a company that does this and your ad sticks in their mind enough to say, yes, yes I do and they refer you to somebody else. Once they get back to your website, you can capture names and data, and that can help you realize real results, but it doesn’t always work that way.

“How Did You Hear About Us?”

For example, when companies say, how did you hear about us? Often you hear the respondent say, on the internet. Okay. Was that Google ads, Facebook ads, social media posts, emails? Could be anything, right? They remembered you and your company, but they don’t remember where they heard it. That’s because in creating (even recycling) posts and advertising, you’re creating top of mind awareness.

My next point is, make sure you’re measuring the right stuff. Don’t look at engagement, look at the traffic at your website, and it doesn’t have to be a huge amount of traffic. It’s people that are engaging with the right posts, and that’s the key thing that you want to figure out. Try to capture names from there, give something away, try to get them to sign up for your email list.

Don’t just measure hits to your website. Measure conversations. After a conversation, be aware of repeat engagement. For example, if you have a second conversation with somebody, ask them, have you seen any of our posts? Is there anything that caught your eye? You want to measure how those conversations are engaging and evolving.

Final Thoughts

Let me leave you with a few final thoughts.

First and foremost, the cost of repurposing all that content for my client, the old blog post was 1/10th of what it cost to do new ones. The real result in the business was it was exploding. They had so much business, they barely had time to meet with me to talk about the results. The last thing is that the more people that they can get to join in this concept, the better the results will be.

Every single one of those people has 150 connections, and if they can get 10 people to do this, that means 1500 people will see your posts and not all of them will be the same, but that increases their chances of having old content be the right thing at the right time for the right interested party to create conversations and generate sales.

Remember, there’s no I in team, but there is in time, and if what you’re selling is that, you want more eyeballs on your solution.

I would love to hear your thoughts on using social media as a part of your marketing system, to rally get your clients to take a look. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas, or questions about amplifying content within your marketing system.

ASNF

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