It is 2020. This means that all of the groundbreaking technology that has developed since the year 2000 is beginning to mature. Five years ago, some businesses still questioned whether a Facebook page was necessary for their company. Whereas today, a lack of an online presence is as good as being out of business.
With all of these social platforms (both emerging new ones, and evolving established ones) comes the overwhelming feeling of “What am I supposed to be doing?” Some choose to stay as far away as possible and stick to the brand they’ve built to carry them, while others go headfirst trying to keep up with the latest viral trend.
Wherever you fall on the scale of online marketing, the undeniable truth is that the online world offers the ability to market on platforms amidst millions of people for an extremely low cost. There are a million and a half excuses that can be made for not marketing online, but those justifications stem from laziness. Yep, I said it. Laziness. Forbes.com and Entrepreneur.com both agree.
You’ve probably heard your boss say “Well our target market isn’t on that platform” or “Most of our revenue comes from x” blah, blah, blah. The bottom line is that social media marketing does not have an instantaneous return on investment, but the payoff is life-changing. Let me explain. You hire someone to run your company’s Instagram account because you’ve heard that’s a good idea. BUT, after 8 weeks, your hire is being paid for their hours, and, while posting consistently, you haven’t seen an uptick in revenue.
As a business owner you can do one of two things here: kill the project, accept the loss in labor wages, and return to business as usual; or, better yet, double down on the mission and figure out how this can change the course of your business forever.The ultimate goal is not to run a big social campaign and have it make a lot of money all at once. The final destination is a community of people who are excited to hear from your company and actively engage in the social dynamic within your page. Achieving that sort of closeness on a page will propel your business for decades, and, frankly, that is the kind of business people tell their friends about.
Attention is the new currency. Market share might as well be dictated by how much attention a brand gets. The goal is to capture and hold your audience’s attention on social media. While that may seem like a difficult task considering the sheer abundance of content online, it is much easier than you might think, yet hard in execution. It is easy because most brands (especially smaller ones) refuse to put in the work to do it right.
It’s hard in execution because cultivating a community of your fans online takes consistent work and a long time. It’s being nimble on twitter, eye-popping on Instagram, and wholesome on Facebook seven days a week. It’s posting your BEST content, the sharpest photo, the most well-written blog, and the most exciting video demonstration every day! If you go “all-in” on investing your time, energy, and money into social media, you will reap the benefits for generations. Why? Because you have the consumer’s attention, which you can direct anywhere through various methods.
Jeff knows that the lifetime value of the customer is infinitely higher than saving money by not refunding them when they ask for one. By being so consumer-centric, he has created a cult-like following to his brand. He can now direct their attention anywhere he desires for the rest of his life as long as he keeps the value proposition fair and maintains consumer-friendly policies.
When Mr. Bezos purchased Whole Foods, it was very easy for him to get his Amazon customer base on board with that new style of grocery shopping. He had their undivided attention and a history of doing right by the customer. Each individual business owner has the opportunity to do the EXACT SAME THING on a smaller scale. Your followers on social media can be so powerful in so many different ways. They generate revenue by purchasing through your site online, they drive more users to your page by sharing an interesting post you made, their attention can be siphoned to other social platforms to diversify your brand’s stake in each platform, the list goes on.
I will say this one last time, the best thing you can do for your business and its future beneficiaries, is to invest in growing a community online.