I have a confession… I thought that businesses and organizations had to be on every social media.
Boy, how wrong I was.
According to social media marketing expert Gary Vaynerchuk, and many other social media experts, throwing everything onto every social platform and hoping it sticks does not count as good marketing. This was news to me.
Vaynerchuk emphasized the importance of a strategy when delivering your content online. Certain demographics are more likely to use different platforms more than others. For example, young people are much more likely to be on Snapchat and Instagram than Facebook. While Facebook is more likely to be slightly older, they may be more likely to purchase products or services.
When I thought about my own social media habits, this made sense. I’m on Twitter and Instagram much more than I am on Facebook. But still, ads work so much better for me through Facebook.
I realized that it’s probably because I use Facebook as a community-based site. Vaynerchuk’s theory of “jab, jab, jab, hook” works just like that. It asks social users to be a part of a brand’s community. If people are encouraged to interact with a company or brand, they’re more likely to listen to it when it asks them to purchase a product — as if they were getting a recommendation from a friend.
Now I want to think about how I can apply this to a class project in which we are pitching a business. Our customers are students, so we should be on the platforms they use. However, it’s a professional service, so we should also be on sites made for networking, like LinkedIn.
Besides LinkedIn, I don’t know how our business would produce good “jab” content. How can we make visually pleasing content for a website about careers on Instgram? How will we make creative, clippable gifs and videos for YouTube and Snapchat?
I realized that being conscious of your social presence as a business is much harder than I expected. You have to meet your customers where they are, talk to to them like they’re humans, ask them to try out your product through discounts, and sooooo many more steps before you even get them to pay full price for your product or service.
Clearly, as the Internet grows and more people join social networks, businesses cannot just expect consumers to seek out ads and buy whatever comes up. The work is now on the business to find its demographic on whichever platform — or more likely, platforms — foster a community, offer promotions, experiences, ask questions of its consumers, and then FINALLY offer people the product or service.