There's a disconnect in too many businesses today - one that risks significant loss of revenue, increased cost base, and subsequent acceleration of failure. I'm sad to say that the culprit is social media. Well ... not social media itself, but rather the underlying motivations for businesses adopting social media as part of their marketing strategy, without recognising its purpose and place in the marketing process.
So you have your Facebook Page and your Twitter profile. You may have jumped onto Google+ and even started pinning your dream holiday destinations and fashion inspirations to your boards on Pinterest. But why did you get involved in the first place? Be honest - if you can even remember your initial motivation, it's likely that "someone told you that you needed to be on social media" in order to make a success fo your venture in the "digital age". True as that may be, it doesn't begin to justify the hours and money spent on maintaining such a presence. Time is money after all, and those in business who recognise the value of their time would hardly plough their efforts into social media marketing, unless it made a decent return.
Please don't misunderstand me - social media is not, and never has been, the place for direct selling. I've yet to meet the person who joined Twitter so that they could find MORE ways to spend their money! But social media does have a place in the new business generation process, and it is thus...
... To generate traffic, and occasionally to generate leads.
Those with a robust and well-considered content strategy are already generating traffic to their core websites, and using attractive and compelling lead generation tactics, to capture the interest (and email addresses) of those who express an interest in their area of expertise. The content they create places them in the "expert" category for their niche, and educates those who require answers and guidance. There's no sell yet, but any established business should have it's own sales processes, and therefore lives and dies by the number of leads it generates. Connecting social media to traffic, to content, to lead generation, means fuel for success.
Has this made you consider your reasons for using, and approach towards social media? How does your digital strategy support your core business, and what successes can you report?