The Sound of Social Silence
Social silence. Like many modern dangers, those that cannot be defined are often the most deadly. As a social media management firm we bear witness to large number of small business owners seeking help once their social media campaign has fallen on hard times. In fact, some are nearing life-support status before managers stop the denial and seek professional help. But it doesn’t have to be this way! A few preventative measures are often sufficient to maintain proper health and growth over the long haul but only if you take the time and effort to understand the risk versus reward ratio in advance.
Cause for Concern?
So, what is the cause of social silence and can this intrusive threat be minimized or eradicated? There is good news and bad news. Starting with the good news; Yes! With proper planning, the threat of social silence can become little more than a distant memory. Now for the bad news….it takes experience and expertise to make it happen. In fact, it increasingly takes much more than that…it takes insider status to assure access to many of the most cost effective tools and methods used by marketing pro’s throughout the nation.
There are many reasons a company may encounter the sound of silence but the following represent some of the most insidious:
1. Silent Majority – Sadly one of the most common causes for social silence is the most easily prevented; the proliferation of a silent majority taking over a social media campaign. Unfortunately, we see a lot of this and the damage can be extensive. Poor quality content, lack of interesting interaction and sporadic postings leave clients less than inspired. In fact, they simply fall silent without another word or advanced warning. It takes time – and consistency – to create a compelling campaign that inspires clients to engage with one another on a regular basis.
2. Inaccessible Silence – Lack of an Ad Rep. Facebook ad rep’s have been repeatedly shown to generate positive performance impact and enhanced ROI but small business owners are not able to tap into this lucrative corner without major budgets. It’s one additional benefit derived from doing business with a major social media marketing firm capable of buying enough total ad volume to benefit smaller clients who would otherwise not have access to this option. Consider these statistics for a moment…Facebook now boasts nearly 850 million monthly active users with 1.3 Trillion display ads during 2011 (the last complete year of record). These 1.3 trillion display ads generated $3.15 Billion in advertising revenue even before Facebook went public or started to monetize advertisements in earnest. That breaks down to roughly 1,500 advertisements per user with an average of $3.73 per ad. Of course there is a great deal of redundancy and local advertisements etc to contend with but one item should be of special interest to small business owners; agencies routinely demonstrated the highest CTR (click through rates) followed by vendors, then business employees and finally individuals. Access to an ad manager combined with advertising expertise is a clear benefit with undeniable benefits!
3. Not So Silent Competition – Sponsored Silence – Competition comes in many shapes and forms but be sure you aren’t paying good money by sponsoring a social media influencer that also works with direct competitors! In earlier articles we discussed the pro’s and con’s associated with the use of social media sponsorship; it’s possible to create a clear win-win when working with a social media management firm that understands the legal and marketing environment. For those going it alone, be sure to research the competition to make sure your social sponsorship doesn’t inadvertently help the competitor!
4. Silent Protest – What happens when users boycott your campaign…or worse, move en mass to have it shut down entirely? It’s a question few business owners expect to encounter but pick the wrong social media marketing firm and it could indeed happen to you! When Facebook, Twitter or any other social media site receives enough alerts or automated complaints by users, a site may be shut down. Of course, if the complaints are unfounded it will be corrected but the bad publicity and downtime could hurt an ongoing campaign just the same. Navigating the complex world of public relations is just one more aspect a reputable social media management firm handles; the ability to establish alerts, track user sentiment and create compelling customer demand is the foundation of every great campaign.
5. Silent Shoppers – There is a difference between those that shop online and those that simply follow a brand or company; women over 50 are more likely to actually click on an advertisement while younger users are simply more likely to follow or like a business. This creates the need for different strategies based upon demographics and user profiles. Best of both worlds is to use social media to engage, inform and keep clients aware of new products, services, offers and incentives on a regular basis. It’s a sure fire way to make sure the only sound you hear is the sound of clients clamoring for more!