Bob's Blog

"I had chips for tea". The future of social media.

Now if you’re an individual who wishes to share all the excitement of every detail of their day with, well, anyone, then fine. But if you’re a business owner (who doesn’t sell chips), then this kind of social media post is likely to be problematic. Just think about how your brand looks with this kind of fatuous comment.

So how do those businesses that don't sell chips use social media as a realistic marketing tool? Well, perhaps trial and error, which can take time, cost money and leave you behind if your competition know what they're doing; or think logically and talk to people who know what they're doing.

But don't for one minute think that social media is a complete marketing nonentity. If you can accumulate as many users as Facebook has managed, then even if you want to talk to one hundredth of one percent of them, then that would keep you going for years. It's trying to ignore the other 99.99% that's the problem.

By way of an example, your author plays in a band that has a Facebook page. We mention the page at gigs, and the audience, most of whom seem to like what we do, visit it and many become "friends". To all intents and purposes, our page is little more than a message board, informing those who have chosen to be alerted to posts that we make. We've learned not to post too frequently, but when we do – for announcing a forthcoming gig or suchlike – the response is significant.

"So what", they chorus. Well, if the gigs are our product and the people who turn up are our customers, then where does social media fit in? It most certainly is not a lead generation system. We accumulate contacts in a traditional manner (announcement, word of mouth, literature), then transfer them to a digital platform (Facebook) where we notify them of interesting events (gigs etc).

There is no reason why that model cannot be replicated elsewhere, but to rely on social media to do all the heavy lifting is folly.