Finding Value In Social Media

Finding Value In Social Media

In the news business, it is easy to justify using social media because content is all we create all day long… but what about other businesses? Why and how should they justify using social media?

Businesses will be quick to point out that it isn’t easy to make money directly from your social efforts. In that sense, social doesn’t add directly to your bottom line.

What it does do, on the other hand, is offer an opportunity to increase awareness and converse with potential customers. The value is derived from how well you project your customer experience to those people who aren’t yet customers.

When a business decides to advertise on TV or in print, they’re throwing a dart at a target audience they’ve selected based on statistics. Web ads can also be like that, but social media is not. Social media lets the customers throw the dart, seeking what they need. Businesses just need to make sure they’re target it out there waiting.

That said, here are a few “no-duh” suggestions for handling social accounts:

  1. Have fun with it. Use your personality and culture online in the same way you do in person.
  2. Converse. Try to respond to every question and try to give every troll at least one good-faith effort.
  3. Ask for opinions and crowdsource for new ideas. Find out what your current customers want and why others haven’t become customers yet.

As a web presence manager for a television station, I’m constantly checking the analytics for our social accounts – but I also know that they only tell half the story. The bigger value, the value that the business really benefits from, is when people are thinking about the news we’ve delivered throughout the day and decide to visit our website or watch our newscast.

Every business, from a bakery to a zoo, should think the same way. You shouldn’t expect to make money from your Facebook account, but you can expect more customers to say, “I thought of you because of your Facebook page.”