Social Media — Beyond Fans and Followers

I think one thing that sets our agency apart from the others is that I’m a salesman first and foremost. Because of this, my wiring is to build businesses, generate revenue and close sales. I’m not a creative who decided to open an agency and I’m not a PR person reinventing himself in social. I am a business builder who is looking for ways to add revenue to the bottom line and grow. This is an important distinction because I think most business owners still think social media is important, but does not generate dollars and this just isn’t true. Every day I get up, come into the office and get to work to prove the doubters wrong and to help my clients win online.

Social media has evolved over the last few years and it’s moved away from fans and followers and more towards a holistic digital approach. This has been our take on social from day one which I think gives us a leg up and helps us get ahead. Helping clients understand this is usually the hardest part, because some even say that they hired us because they feel competitor pressure to get in the game, but they are fully expecting that it doesn’t lead to sales. Not only does it directly generate revenue, it also helps them convert sales in other, less tangible areas too.

When we work with clients, we look at their website, content, emails, promotions, search and social as all being part of an ecosystem. We then develop strategies that help our clients navigate that ecosystem the right way. Some of our greatest success stories are felt behind the scenes in sales, web traffic and email captures and often less so in fan growth or retweets. This wider view on social is mission critical if you want to truly succeed.

When we start with clients we go deep and we reverse engineer a plan based on their main objectives. Now they usually have many, so we have to create a balanced approach to social media. That being said we always recommend that they get their house in order first. Some have Google Analytics, but never check them or worse don’t even know how to. Some capture email addresses, but don’t send out emails. Some post on social networks, but never respond when people speak to them on those channels. Things are just a mess.

The truth is that social media is just a new term for the internet. Social networks are just some of the tools you use to navigate today’s web, but not the only ones. You really need to have a wider view on social media, and somebody at the helm who can drive the ship and keep you on track. I touched on this in a piece I wrote for Forbes a few months back and I live it every day. Managing a brand’s social media is a full time position (or multiple full time positions) and needs to be integrated into your bigger digital strategy.

As retail continues to struggle and more and more consumers turn to the web and mobile, you need to make sure your thinking and your approach are in order. Your web traffic, fans, followers, emails, prospects and of course your customers, are all opportunities to tell your story and grow your business. Be wise, or you are planning your demise…

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