How did you read the title of this post? Did you read it as saying that social media is a complete waste of time that you shouldn’t bother with; or did you read it as saying that you need to focus your efforts on certain areas and that outside of this area is a waste of your valuable time; or maybe you read it as hurry up get on the bandwagon quick before you miss out?
To labour the point, the well-known url: www.expertsexchange.com has the same problem, i.e. the two words can be broken before the letter ‘s’ or afterwards – giving totally different meanings.
The fact is that companies are using social media in a variety of ways, for example, 35% of employers in the U.S. use social media to promote their company. Researchers at Hewlett-Packard demonstrated that they can accurately predict a Hollywood movie’s box office success by counting how often it is mentioned on Twitter prior to release. An increasing number of companies are driving their recruitment through social media. I won’t bore you with other examples suffice to say the list goes on and on.
However, I remember when Pay Per Click (PPC) was first introduced. I came across many clients who were running ppc campaigns where the only thing that mattered (to them) was getting traffic to their websites. What they forgot or ignored was the word: quality. They were in such a blind rush to get as many click-throughs as possible that they forget the point of the exercise – sales!
Granted sales might not be the immediate goal as you might be building trust, loyalty, brand awareness, buzz, whatever. But you can sure bet the end goal is to make sales.
I am seeing the same spitting competition happening with social media right now – “How many followers do you have?”. I am seeing many public sector clients setting up large social media campaigns but all they do is copy and paste every single press release into Facebook and link to it from Twitter.
Don’t lose sight of the reasons you use social media otherwise you will be wasting your time