The question for most businesses leaders is not “if” they should be using social media. There are far more important questions to both ask and answer.
Did you know that on average 98% of the people who “like” a business Facebook page will never visit the actual page again? They may only see it in their newsfeed “if” the brand is lucky and Facebook's edgerank algorithm determines it is worthy of a view in the newsfeed of their fans.
Competing for eyeballs
As more and more brands jump on the social networks there is no shortage of tweets to read, Instagram photos to view, videos to watch and blog posts to learn from. Every brand seems to have the product you need, the community to join and the answer to all of your life and business problems.
Unfortunately many brands and small business owners have no clue how to engage using social media. They forget that social media is about people, relationships and conversations that bring value.
They hop on Twitter and assume it instantly becomes their one way highway to spam the world. They don't think twice about spamming our email inbox, LinkedIn messages, Twitter direct message stream and the list goes on.
If there is a route to your inbox and eyeballs the spammers are going to find it. The social networks are going to offer them a paid track to get their ads in front of you one way or another.
Competing for our eyes, ears, minds, hearts and overall attention is becoming more challenging each day.
Is it working?
The question is this… is it working? What do you think of the people who blast the same ads in your face daily? What about the people who preach quality over quantity yet auto tweet 24/7 the same tweets every day? What about the brands that beg you to like their page, join their community, follow them on Twitter or read their blog? My guess is most of them drive you crazy.
Are they inspiring you to follow them? Are they inspiring you to click? To like? To read? To engage? Or are they doing just the opposite?
The reason is they are not answering the most important question in your mind. The question is WHY.
Let's turn this question around now. Let's talk about your community, your target audience, colleagues, partners, friends and future customers.
I'm going to make this simple and give you the question and the answer.
The most important question you should be asking when using social media for business is… WHY!
Why should anybody:
- Follow you?
- Like you?
- Join your Google+ community?
- Join your private Facebook group?
- Read your tweets?
- Read your blog?
- Read your infographic?
- Read your Facebook post?
- Add you to an interest list on Facebook?
- Retweet you?
- Pin your content?
- Comment on your blog?
- Share your content?
- Respond to your tweet?
- Connect with you on LinkedIN?
- Participate on your Twitter chat?
- Listen to your radio show?
- Listen to your podcast?
- Attend your event?
- Pay for your class?
- Opt-in to your email list?
- Attend your event?
- Participate or watch your Google Hangout?
- Watch your webcast?
- Listen to your tele-seminar?
- Watch your video?
- Care that you and your brand exists?
Why are you doing what you do?
It is easy to hop on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and every social network out there. It's not so easy to answer the question WHY. Why do you want more fans? More likes? More shares? How is it going to help you meet your business goals? Most importantly how is it going to bring your audience value?
We consult with business owners and brand of all sizes, from entrepreneurs and startups to Fortune 100 brands. One of the first things we ask when conducting a social media audit or developing a social business strategy or marketing plan is WHY. It's amazing how many brands can't answer this simple question.
If you can't answer the question of WHY then it's all for nothing my friends. Give your audience a reason to care that you exist. Offer them something of value. Offer them something so valuable it is remembered, cherished and boldly shared from the social mountain top.
Inspire your audiences to connect with you with a goal of helping them achieve their objectives. When you focus on the objectives of your audience you then achieve your objectives by default. Inspire – Connect – Achieve. It doesn't really have to be much more complicated than that.
When you care genuinely about the relationships you are building and not just the likes, follows, influence scores you will see greater results. You will start to inspire organic attraction, influence minds and attract the heart of people, not just their finger hitting the mouse button and resulting in a “like” that may never result to anything further.
The heartbeat of social media is people. It's you and me. Are you nurturing the heartbeat of the social ecosystem or are you sucking it dry.
I encourage you to ask yourself this question as you head into your next project, campaign or marketing program. WHY are you doing such? What is in it for the people on the other end?
What You Say?
Can you answer the question WHY? What do you think of the brands that spam you? What brands inspire you? What brand care about the WHY when engaging with you? What should brands be doing to inspire you?
Heartbeat of Social Media Series
This blog post is part of a series titled “The Heartbeat of Social Media“. It includes a deep look at how communities work, what people are doing within them and how businesses can better understand how they can fit in, provide value and derive benefit as both a business as well as individual people.
Subscribe to the series for updates and access to special videos, webinar training, podcasts and more. Would love to hear your input and have you participate in discussions and debates as we challenge each other to be part of what makes the social network heartbeat healthy and alive!
- Worksheet: Download our POST audience analysis worksheet to help you identify and prioritize your top audiences. It is based upon the Forrester POST methodology.
- Worksheet: Download this content editorial calendar to help you plan, organize and deliver the most engaging and helpful content you can offer.
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- Heartbeat of Social Media
- Inspire, Connect, Achieve for Social Business & Social Brand Success
- Stop Searching for The Social Media Easy Button
- 13 Characteristics of Human Brands
“Why” is good. I prefer to start with “who”
Telling people why they should listen to “us” is still in the broadcast #oldmedia paradigm. When we learn that the new target market is ONE, we know what to do… Just LISTEN and LOVE (respond like you care)
That being said, the advice here is great for all of us raised in a broadcast marketing world. It’s scary to go cold turkey and just start listening :)
Hi Warren. WHO is certainly the ultimate goal.
Love this article.
I think doing business should be like writing a news release. Answer the four W and one H in the “first paragraph”: What? When? Why? Where? How?
[…] Why… The Most Important Question in Social Media by Pam Moore (PamMarketingNut.com) […]
Probably the most important word anywhere. When I look back on my marketing career, I can remember hundreds of times companies came to me asking for a brochure or a website or seo help, etc… The number of times they responded with strategic answers was sadly quite low. I ended up developing a communications briefing tool (recently put it online for anyone to use freely). It gave us an opportunity to transition prospects and customers to thinking about the WHY before the what and helped improve the ROI of their marketing efforts. I’m happy to provide a link to the online tool if requested.
[…] 3. Know what they want. What is it they are looking for? Fame? Fortune? ROI? Simple information to help them drive efficiencies in life or business? All of the above? What do they want from you? What do they want from others? Why do they want what they want? Tip: The most important question you can answer is WHY. Read this post -> “WHY… The Most Important Question to Ask in Social Media.“ […]
What is my WHY? I have thought about it for me but not for my clients and that is more important
[…] https://www.pammarketingnut.com/2013/08/why-the-most-important-question-in-social-media/?utm_content=… […]