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Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will your social media success...

March 27, 2015

Often clients ask me to help them articulate why social media is valuable to other stakeholders within their organization. 

 

Here's a snippet of what I share relating to the human perspective. We all have an inherent desire for human connection which makes social media the perfect influencer marketing platform. 

 

The two concepts below are poignant when looking at the value of social media.

 

Social Proofing

 

This is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others and attempt/mimic the behavior as a result. (e.g., ALS challenge, waiting in a crazy long line for a new product, etc.). When others see someone doing something that receives positive results, it drives the “watchers” to want to follow suit. 

 

Social Sharing

 

Each time content is shared on social media (or even ‘liked’), it's like a proverbial vote – YES! This in turn builds brand awareness and trust. Have you cruised through your Facebook feed and noticed a friend likes a post...it catches your eye...you may even click on the post to see what it is. That is precisely the "vote - YES!" mentioned above. 

 

Real-Life Example

 

Let’s take a look at an example of the exponential growth social media holds. This is from a social media project I executed with a client last year. It's basic, but powerful.

 

I shared the client's social media post on LinkedIn. It received 7 likes and 2 comments.

 

My LinkedIn network is comprised of more than 700 contacts.

 

 6 of the 7 “likers” had 500+ connections.

 

The 2 commenters each had 500+ connections.

 

Total potential exposure from my ONE share on LinkedIn – more than 3700 people.

 

 

But wait! The client shared the same post on their LinkedIn company page. That’s another 446 contacts. AND an employee shared it on his personal LinkedIn page – another 500+ contacts.

 

Total reach as a result of the organization + 1  employee + me sharing the post = more than 4,500. 

 

This is one example to simply show you the potential social media holds. For the project we executed many more posts over the course of a few months...ahhh think about those numbers. I love it!

 

How Much {fill in the blank} Did That Generate?

 

Inevitably the next question is something like...how much revenue did that social media campaign generate? How many new clients did we sign? And this is where it gets sticky because the truth is...

 

1. The goal a non-believer seeks is tied up in dollars and cents. 

 

2. The true goal of certain social media campaigns is about influencer marketing, brand awareness, trust and the long-term development of brand advocates. 

 

3. Clarifying the purpose and goal of any social media campaign from the beginning is crucial in making sure all stakeholders understand why you're doing what you're doing. And what to expect as a result.

 

4. Social media campaigns don't exist. Well of course, they do. Ok - yes, they exist. However our thinking needs to shift to a continuous model of influence. One six week social media campaign will not yield the results of consistent engagement over time. 

 

5. Social media is like a relationship...you don't show up and walk away and then wonder why nobody is there when you return. You have to nurture your social media presence as if it were a relationship. You need to be consistent, you need to share, listen and give back. 

 

I am a believer in social media. It can work if your approach is thoughtful and you're in for the long term. You need to plant your seeds, water them and give them lots of love so the roots run deep. 

 

-ARJ

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