The Paradox of Social Media Stratgey
Article by: Maximize Social media
Social media is changing business…it’s a fact. Those organizations which do not change how and where they operate are unlikely to survive while those that understand what is ahead are likely to thrive. As a social media management firm, there are four strategic points every business owner should carefully evaluate. Each of these actually represents an important paradox only made possible via social media. Get it right and your business will reap long term rewards. Get it wrong and suffer the consequences for years to come. As a leading social media management agency, this information isn’t something you will encounter often…and certainly not from our competition…which makes it all the more important. Keep reading to get a glimpse of the social media strategy paradox and what it means for the future of your business or service.
Paradox #1 – Is your business global or local?
It seems like a simple question but thanks to social media marketing it is rapidly becoming much more complex. If you manufacture or sell items or information to consumers or other business owners the boundaries between global and local are increasingly blurred. No longer are retailers constrained by their own brick and mortar presence; a store location is simply the “home base” for sales while the Internet meets or exceeds face-to-face sales. Social media marketing efforts including local social search makes it possible for small business owners to compete head-to-head with larger organizations or even global corporations for a fraction of the cost. Niche messaging, relationship management and online sales are as easy to implement across the nation as they are in your backyard. It’s not difficult to imagine a time in the very near future when the same will be said of global sales. Rather than limiting clients by geographic regions, the sales of the future will be based upon user segmentation strategies. Is your business planning for the future of social media sales? If not, there is no time like the present to begin. The ability to partner with diverse business providers, interact with extended supply chain partners, capitalize on geographically distant opportunities and leverage large scale options to reduce acquisition costs will become the determining factors of whether a business is global or local.
Paradox #2 – Is your business a brand or a relationship?
Once upon a time, brand recognition was everything but today, all that has changed thanks in large part to the emergence of social media. Reputation management, word of mouth marketing and social media enabled support represent just a few modern day updates to give rise to an even more powerful sales criteria…the relationship. Gone are the days where brand name alone could sell an item; today consumers want to connect with a company which represents their same values. For example, the simple act of buying athletic shoes has become a reflection not only of athletic ability and style but also Fair Trade and sustainability. Industry experts predict this trend will grow in importance throughout the year 2020 with leading retailers being those best able to communicate the proper image to the target population while listening to shoppers needs and wants. Small business owners will want to carefully cultivate relationships early in the process while mid-sized to larger entities will need to weigh the pros and cons associated with building a brand versus maintaining a strong relationship with clients. In either case, social media management firms are able to provide the oversight and technical know-how to align desired goals with long term growth objectives.
Paradox #3 – Does Data represent an advantage or risk to your business?
Make no mistake about it, as a social media management firm we strongly recognize and rely upon data to do business every single day. However, data isn’t without a risky side especially for the small business provider. On one hand, data does indeed provide important information into the needs, wants and desires of shoppers; for instance, someone expecting a new baby will certainly be interested in diapers, bottles and other supplies for the next several years…good information to know for anyone in the business. However, the emergence of ever more powerful data points allows retailers to link information which may not have been possible in the past..and potentially invade privacy or other rights along the way. For instance, certain medical conditions protected under privacy and confidentiality rights could be inadvertently shared if data mining isn’t properly performed. Of a more mundane, but equally important nature, proper data mining requires the right architecture. Without a strong investment into the right software, technical analysis and skill-set all that information is useless. This leads to the ultimate decision on whether or not data is an advantage or risk…or to put it another way…should you build it or buy it? Business owners that build it have the advantage of selling data to others but only after a significant up-front investment of time, energy and capital. Those that buy it will receive little residual reward but have much lower overall risk. Often the best case scenario is to outsource to a reputable social media management firm capable of testing, implementing and analyzing the information without the long term commitment.
Paradox #4 – Is my business efficient or effective?
In the past, a business became big because it was efficient. That was the entire gist of the industrial revolution; by increasing efficiency, a business created a strategic advantage over the competition. Buying in bulk was efficient because it reduced the overall cost, leveraged assets and required the same level of input to finalize the transaction. But that was then and this is now. Today big isn’t always better…in fact, sometimes it’s much worse. It can be slow to change. Huge inventories are actually a liability rather than asset and leverage is more likely to include relationships rather than the lowest cost. Effective organizations are characterized by their ability to realize and quantify opportunity, the need to understand the short and long term implications of “cost”, ability to sustain and support the entire supply chain process and the willingness to execute new and improved ways of doing things rather than being locked into a single mode of operating. Once again, outsourcing to a reputable social media management firm is the sure-fire way to assure an effective presence while remaining efficient.