social media success

Anatomy of Social Media Success

A client mentioned to us today that clicks to his blog posts had more than tripled since he began working with us earlier this year. Sales are up, too. We weren’t amazed by this — we use social media because it works, not in case it works — but it did make me think about why this client is seeing measurable results quickly, when some take longer to show as much improvement.

I can see three things that definitely make a difference:

  • They share useful information .  This client is willing to share good stuff that they can access — and other people sometimes cannot. Naturally, we always find useful information for people to share, but having something new that you’ve generated gives you an advantage. Chances are, you do have information that people outside your store or office don’t always have. Are you willing to share it?
  • They have places to send people. Social media drives traffic — which is great if you have someplace to send your tweeps and Facebook friends. You need a good website, certainly. You’ll have better results, too, if you have dynamic content so it’s not just a matter of sending people to your homepage repeatedly. This client has a blog and dynamic product pages, so we can send people to those pages to get more information. Of course, we also send them to plenty of other places.
  • They’re willing to let it work. Traditional marketing’s rule of thumb was to expect no results at all for five months; any increased sales before that time were gravy. Online marketing tends to be faster, but not as fast as people often expect. This is (and always has been) one of the reasons that people don’t succeed with any kind of marketing: they give up entirely or tweak their process constantly so they don’t know what would work for them in the long run and what wouldn’t. Just so, many companies that start in doing social media right don’t see immediate results and go back to their bad habits of treating it like advertising or participating irregularly. This client let us move in gradually and establish a good level of communication. (See our social media infographic for more detail.)

We’re not talking here about being good at social media. Being good at social media involves finding and sharing useful and interesting stuff, being authentic, being interested in your community, being articulate — stuff like that. We’re equally good at social media for all our clients. We get good results, too.

We’re using a tool that allows us to get a quick report on our overall results with all the accounts we manage. Here are the figures for the past month:

There’s no change in sent messages because we make a point of being fairly consistent — not unnaturally so, but we don’t have flurries of posts and tweets and the disappear. This number doesn’t change by more than 1 or 2 percent either way. Apart from that, you can see that we have higher levels of engagement across the board. This is what you get from doing a good job with social media.

The level of success of each client, however, reflects the factors discussed above. Look at your own company’s social media efforts. Are you willing to share your expertise? Do you have a good website with dynamic content? Are you willing to work within the constraints of the medium and a realistic time frame?

If not, your social media skills may not be the issue.


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