Mar 10, 2013

SM: Don’t Go In With Your Guns Blazing

written by Anya Amrith

Social Media: Don’t Go In With Your Guns Blazing

Many new startups are falling into the trap these days of assuming five thousand Likes on Facebook or ten thousand followers on Twitter will lead to greater revenue or better brand positioning.

In economics, market leadership means that your business has the greatest market share. Online, market leadership means having the most content and traffic. However, having the most content and traffic doesn’t always lead to having the greatest market share.

Companies claiming to be ‘Online Experts’ or ‘Social Media Guru’s’ will keep ramming the same piece of advice down startup’s throats again and again: become market leaders. They say “produce as much content as possible and push it out everywhere…”

…Record yourself speaking in a video; YouTube – check. Use the audio and upload it to iTunes and there is a podcast. Then publish the message in a blog. And finally share it on social media; Facebook,Twitter and LinkedIn – check. Sounds good doesn’t it?! Very thorough. Except, does this approach work for all businesses?

Quantity does not necessarily equate quality. Producing content for the sake of producing content will not automatically make you successful; it can actually act as a distraction from your main business if you are not careful.

Ask yourself two crucial questions: Who is my target audience? Where is my target audience?

Imagine a startup Financial Service Provider, or Accountancy Firm. There is all this hype around the social media world that they are totally unsure how to approach it and market themselves online. Any agency worth their salt would be looking at who their target audience are, and where they can be found. Not just throwing in the buzz words and promising the earth.

So what would we at AD do? We would look at the business as a whole, and create an appropriate marketing strategy or plan. One idea could be to create a Tax Calculator Application and integrate it into a website, or make a stand alone app.

WHO would the audience be? Earners who don’t understand the tax system, graduates starting their first job and want to figure out how much they will take home after they’re taxed. WHERE would these people go to find this information? Naturally I cannot speak for everyone, but I probably wouldn’t be posting on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn what my salary was and asking if people could help me work out my tax. I would more than likely hit a search engine like Google, a local advisory office, solicitor, my parents maybe, or the business itself.

Hence why we at AD would recommend you home in your efforts to the most beneficial areas and position yourself accordingly. In this example we would be looking at ensuring you rank as high up on Google as possible, either through SEO or targeted advertising. We would look at exploring and establishing referral partnerships with local advisory offices, personal finance blogs or local businesses themselves. You could even go one step further and be visible on career searching sites, magazines or forums.

Our point is… whether a start-up or well established, each business should be viewed uniquely, with a strategic, rather than shot-gun approach. Don’t just fire a ton of bullets and hope some hit the target. Identify the areas most profitable to your business and focus your efforts on them accordingly.