Social media is a strange thing.
Many of us, especially those of younger generations (*cough* millennials *cough*), interact on social media nearly every day, multiple times a day. We log in, we check what other people post, we post things ourselves, and generally spend plenty of time looking at our preferred social media sites.
Most of us have developed a habit of posting fairly regularly, including commenting and liking other people’s posts on a daily basis. We also realize that if we don’t interact with other people’s stuff, they’re less likely to interact with ours.
So why is it when people get to work, they completely forget all of this?
You can’t just hop on social media when it’s convenient and expect results.
This isn’t directed at the social media managers or digital marketing managers of the world. You guys know what I’m talking about. You’ve probably been fighting an uphill battle with upper management about frequency and content types for months.
This is me pointing right at you, C-suite, sales guy, and everyone else in the building.
Social media is a daily thing.
You have to post consistently, you have to interact daily, and you have to give if you want to receive.
Each network has a frequency that works best for it, but posting daily and logging in to interact is an essential part of social media management. This is especially true on the most popular business network, LinkedIn. If you’re not logging in and interacting with people daily, you’re just plain not going to see the same benefits as someone who’s consistently active.
More isn’t always better, either.
Sometimes, people get the idea that they can just log in and post everything at once, especially when they first get started with social media marketing.
“I have all this great content! I’ll just share it all – then people can click on what they like, right?”
While that is a great idea in theory, in practice, you’ll just look like your spamming the feed of anyone you’re connected with. You’re more likely to make people unfriend or unfollow you as a result of posting so much at once.
I keep harping on the whole idea of “consistency”, but that’s really where you want to focus.
You need to remember the cardinal rule of social media and the internet as a whole:
We’re all on here for ourselves. As humans, we are selfish, self centered, and we’re only going to spend time on the things that benefit ourselves.
You have to provide something of value in order for people to want to see what you share.
When it’s our personal social media channels, that thing of value is ourselves, which may be why it’s so hard for people to shift gears in a business setting. Among your friends and family, sharing pictures of your dogs, your food, and your opinions on the oxford comma are enjoyed because those people know you and care about you.
Strangers are unlikely to care one bit about you unless they have a reason. Cute puppy pictures can be that reason, but strangers are unlikely to care about the chicken you made for dinner, nor are they likely to give your opinion about commas much weight.
This is even more true for businesses.
Think about it. How much do you care what a complete stranger shares about their day?
How much do you care about a business sharing their latest press release? Unless you’re directly affected by their latest acquisition or product release, you probably don’t care one whit about some business’s press release.
Social media is an investment of time, not money.
An important shift in the way to look at social media is that it requires a different sort of investment than other types of marketing.
You don’t just throw money at it. Just like investing in other areas, throwing money at social media (through ads, sponsoring content, or boosted posts) is unlikely to provide you with noticeable results.
You do need to invest time in it, but just like money, you can’t just “throw” time at social media and expect it to work.
You need a strategy, and you need to dedicate time to it on a regular basis.