As a business owner, how frequently do you post updates to Facebook? Once a day? Twice a day? What about Twitter? Every few hours? What about Instagram? Once a day? What about Pinterest? Once a week? And, how about LinkedIn? Whenever something interests me.
Great. You are committed to the Social process. However, you should be pissed. In fact, I am here to tell you something you have not figured out yet – you have been scammed.
That’s right, scammed.
Facebook, as a company, is genius. They created a supply and demand (when they only allowed those with a college ID to join – remember those days?); then they got the entire world to buy into the connectivity and interactions that were possible through a profile run by you, where you post everything about your life; then they said, “Hey brands, come play on here”; then with brands fully loaded, they encouraged all small businesses to join – including every location of a franchise; and then, with demand high, interactions soaring, and staring publicity that said they were losing fans straight in the face – flipped the switch and turned Social Media into Paid Media for business.
Whether done on purpose or on accident, Facebook is a genius.And, in fact, Twitter, Google, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. should all thank Facebook for paving the path of how to go from Social Media to Paid Media – all while keeping it Social (for now) for the public.
So, now you are thinking, OK Nick, so you say the future of Social Media is Paid Media. Well, in some sense, yes, but it’s much more than that.
Think back to my first set of questions now – the frequency of your Social postings. What were the answers? Probably fairly frequent.
Now, think about business and everything you have learned about digital business. You have heard it a million times – your website is your No. 1 sales tool. This is why you spend tens of thousands of dollars on your site. Even though you invested hard capital into your site, how frequently do you update that? Once every few years?
How many times have you redesigned your site? How frequently do you look at your site? How about how frequently do you check your email, look at ESPN.com or TMZ.com?
Content is not the future of Social Media – it already exists. The future of Social Media is your website, duh. And the likes of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn distracted you away from your No. 1 sales tool for the last few years. The gig’s up.
Go look at your website now (well, not now, more so in a few minutes when you are done reading this article). What content moves on your main page? How are you influencing those who go to your site? Facebook convinced you that you can influence your customers in a place where you know who they are. Well, sort of, but you don’t really know who they are – they know who they are, and they are levering that data to make you spend more.
The reality is you know who your customers are – you are just not analyzing the analytics of your website (have you ever looked at real-time analytics?).
Now is the time to switch your energy to your website. Leverage all of your Social content to influence the users in the place they go for NAP (name, address, phone) as well as locations and hours. Enhance the real-time experience on your website and you are prepared for the future shift of Social Media.
Social is such a beautiful word – but it is being lost in the current Social World. However, making your website Social will enhance the experience and drive more ROI. Here are five quick adaptations you can try:
Twitter Feed: You are already creating the content, push the content on your site.
Photo of the Day: Your Fans are creating your content, reward them. Put images on your site.
Delete your Newsroom and Move it to the Forefront: Your PR firm told you the value of having a newsroom on your site. Well, there is, but you probably have it buried. Move it onto the main .com so that you can play up your buzz.
Highlight a Feed of Reviews: People rave about your brand – and it’s great that those raves exist on sites like Yelp! But we all hate Yelp! for business – move that buzz to your site.
Change Your Content Weekly: A feed of rotating highlighters will make a big difference. Look at great content sites (like 1851). Move some content, increase SEO, increase organic search, increase sales.
The future is now. And it’s time that you, as a business owner, take back ownership of your Social interactions. Move more and more of your content back into your control – this way you are prepared as Social Media continues to advance into Paid Media.