Social Media Mountain Climbing: On Navigating the Ever-Changing Terrain

If you’ve ever known the bittersweet pain of purchasing an iPhone only to hear the newer, better version will be released in upcoming days, then you already know the cold, hard fact of life: social media, like technology, is a fickle jerk.  Whether you’re a Facebook-ing fiend or constantly referring to “that Tweeter thing,” you probably already understand the importance social media plays into the success of your business, but how do you go from understanding to implementing?

Great question.

Truth Bomb #1:

All social media platforms are not created equally. Know it. Accept it. Love it.

Facebook: focus your efforts on interacting with an already established fan base and clientele rather than finding new customers — answer questions, provide customer service, interact, and stalk the competition (we don’t judge), but don’t make the mistake of assuming it’s the best or only way to find NEW customers

(mind blown, we know).

 And without getting too deep into the technical jargon that would be sure to thoroughly impress, you should know Facebook has changed their news feed algorithm in order to reduce your page’s visibility.  Translation: less begets less.

 Twitter: real time, in-the-moment conversation that allows you to reach out to your audience immediately and expect immediate responses.  Last minute changes for an event? No problem. Tweet it. Recall? Not so scary. Tweet it. Breaking news? Great! Add a hashtag, and tweet it.  As far as spreading the word about your business, brand, or product, Twitter is the fastest, most popular route.

 Pinterest/Tumblr: this platform works best for industries that bank on visual appeal.  From fashion to food and wedding planning to travel destinations, Pinterest and Tumblr serve the markets that can be best showcased with striking photos or informative videos/tutorials.

 Truth Bomb #2:

Quality over quantity. The number of followers, likes, and shares your page, tweet, or post gets DOES NOT measure the amount of success or influence your social media campaign has. Yes, it’s good to know the analytics behind your posts (who’s visiting, when is the most popular time people are visiting, etc.), but there is so much online use that cannot be measured.

Think of it this way: Say you have a billboard on the side of the highway advertising your mountain climbing gear or law practice or luxury car dealership. How many customers do you get because of it? How many leads are generated? How would you know?

Truth Bomb #3:

Content is king.

This might seem obvious, but sometimes, the truth that is right in front of us is often overlooked. Despite which platforms you choose, your content and brand portrayal should be consistent while offering valuable, intriguing information.

If 140 characters have become the measuring stick of your attention span, then just know this: Facebook isn’t all that, Twitter is where it’s at, and Pinterest and Tumblr are for those whose personal mantra goes something like, “Pics or it didn’t happen.”  No matter what platform is trendiest at the moment, no matter what new thing emerges or old thing dies, these same ideas can be applied.

Navigating the social media terrain doesn’t have to be overwhelming or daunting. Really.  A 106-year-old uses Facebook, so we have faith you can, too.