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Dec 11, 2019 Jamie Midgley

The 4 Stages Of Social Media

The 4 Stages Of Social Media Featured Image

How Do You Manage Your Social Media?

Today I want to lay down a challenge for you about how you are managing your social media and the content that you're putting out for your business. So, if you're like most small businesses, you're probably posting on Facebook, on Twitter, on YouTube, and LinkedIn, but the real question I've got for you, is what is the strategy behind that? 

Do you actually have a strategy? Or are you sort of in that position where you feel that you just need to put something out there and putting anything out there is going to be better than putting nothing out there?

So if you're in that situation, it's likely that you're investing 10 minutes here, five minutes here, half an hour here, getting distracted, but I'm more than certain that the end result of the amount of business that you're getting back off that is really low if anything at all. 

So we know about the time. Time is a commodity that you can't get back. Money can be replaced, material things can be replaced, but time is lost. So the challenge that I've got for you, is to add up today how many minutes, hours you're spending, dare I say, messing about with social media with absolutely little or no chance of getting any return.

  • Why would you do that?
  • Why would you go and do something and be an amateur at it to not get a result, especially when it's eating into your time?

If you're like many entrepreneurs and small businesses, you're going to be short on time anyway. So what's the point of wasting more time doing something that's not going to get you any results? 

The speed of social media moves so fast, what you actually need is a professionally managed content plan, a professionally managed social content strategy, and then that can be aligned to your business, your customers, your products and services. Even if you are a little bit more progressive with social media and you are starting to get a bit of return out of it, for those type of social media users in business, the challenge I've got for you is do you understand the four fundamental areas of social media?

Most people are doing merely two at best, possibly three if you're absolutely on fire. But at least four key areas that you need to invest in and having skills in to make sure that your return the investment out of social media is positive.

Social Listening

So number one, that is going to be social listening. So if you're not sure what social listening is, that is where you're watching the social media channels for when people are mentioning your brand or your company name so that you can jump in and communicate and engage with customers.

That's pretty important if somebody's saying positive things about your business because you can jump in there and you can engage them and even build on that and get more engagement. 

But if somebody is saying something negative about your business, then it's so easy these days for someone to jump on social media, put a negative post out there and say, hey this company X is bad at this, if you're listening for that, you're getting alerted for that, there are loads of software tools that can notify you like Hootsuite or Mention is a product that we use at 6teen30 Digital and that we can put certain keywords, like company names and words so that you can hear and listen. 

But that's really the first point. Then you can really start and see what's happening. Helps customer service, helps manage complaints, helps get better engagement to really drive positive messages for you. So social listening is number one. The question, are you doing social listening? If not, you're missing one of the fundamental four.

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Social Networking

So social networking. Are you connected with people? Are you actively finding out people who could be strategic alliances, are you even networking with your existing customers? Are you following your own customers and sharing their posts and saying hey, the company that they spend money with are actually interested in what they're doing on social media.

So social networking, are you making connections, or are you just connecting with anybody for the sake of connecting? Let me tell you, the number of followers that you've got, the number of people that are on your channels, it's a vanity metric. It's a pure vanity metric.

What's important is engagement. How many likes, how many shares, how many purchases people are making, how many recommendations. So social networking, make sure you connect with the right people whom you can do business with.

Quality is better than quantity or what have you. Finally, about point number two, make sure you start engaging with your customers and go from there.

 4 Stages Of Social Media

Social Influencing

So section three, social media three. That's going to be social influencing. What we mean by that is the content that you put out. How are you influencing the audience that you are trying to engage?

Because if you're not thinking about what you're putting out, and how it can help you, a lot of people just put it out, hey buy my stuff, buy my stuff, buy my stuff. We'll deal with that in social media fundamental four, which is social selling. But social influencing, you want to become an expert in your field.

Are you going to share knowledge with people? We call it to value in advance. So if you're sending content out there, and just saying buy off me, and you're putting useless information out there, just stop doing it, because you're probably going to damage your reputation, or you're just going to be seen as somebody who just posts stuff out where you want people to buy off you.

So number three social influencing, how can you put content out there that helps your audience, establishes you as an authority and sets you up as the number one expert? Then when your audience is ready to purchase or maybe recommend, they've got a trusted person there who regularly puts out valuable content or addresses their concerns, helps them achieve even better in person or business results. So that's social three, social influencing.

Social Selling

Number four is social selling. Pretty easy to do, put a post out there, buy my stuff, buy my stuff. Well, if that's all you're doing, good luck. I'd love to see your vanity metrics and you can post maybe a comment in the blog below. People who are just putting something out there, if it's an amazing offer on Black Friday or a January sale, or a summer clear-out sale, fine. There may be some deals that you're doing there, but you ain't going to be making a tonne of money at that.

So isn't it better to sort of see social selling as the last area that you really want to be focusing on? Because if you're listening through social listening, and you're connecting with the right people through social networking, and then you're putting valuable content out there that people can use in their own businesses, own personal lives through social influencing, the social selling just becomes a whole lot easier.

What we mean by that is, if you've positioned yourself as an expert, by the time you do eventually say hey, I've been talking to you for a while now about this product or that product, or how this solution can help you get better at X or achieve Y, then if you start to put an offer out there, saying, by the way, here at company X, we have this product that really can help you, then you're going to have an engaged audience, you'll have people who trust you.

Remember people buy from people they know, like, and trust. If they know you, fantastic. If they like you, even better. If that means they trust you, they're more likely to get the credit card out, or the chequebook out and buy a few through social selling.

Published by Jamie Midgley December 11, 2019
Jamie Midgley