Social media, unlike digital media 10 years ago, is a much more patient game. With SEO and banner ads and email marketing it was all instant gratification. Social media isn’t, and that’s why so many people are struggling with it. The reason so many people “don’t get it” is that they’re not willing to put in the two years of eating crow to get the results or don't know what they are looking for. The end.
It’s a shame, too, because small businesses should really be winning on social much more than they are now, but they’re caught between a rock and a hard place. As someone who came up in a family business, I know the problem well:
1. Most small businesses can’t afford the money it would take to hire someone like a VaynerMedia and several others who really knows what they’re doing.
2. Most small businesses don’t (think they) have the time to put into it. Doing social right means putting in a solid 9-10 hours a day of work. For small businesses making that time, or making that staffing allocation can be really hard, if not impossible. It's easier to spend the dollars on ads than on people ( internal or external ) for far too many.
3. Finally, when a small business ends up working with a smaller agency or consultant, Many of those entities can be dishonest about the realities of what they can do for their client.( heck Big agencies or consultants do this too ) They don’t say “Listen, this is a three year play” because the client is operating in a world where they’re saying “If we don’t see results in 90 days, we’re out.” So the agency or consultant makes a bunch of promises, and then you’re in a bad situation.
Social media is a more human play and requires more effort, but the vast majority of people are just unwilling to put in the time and effort to get the results they want out of it. They’re looking for something that converts faster, is a more efficient use of their time. They live in an instant-result-based world. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, these things don’t necessarily appease the people who grew up with email marketing and SEO, and that’s the problem.
The fortunate thing about all of this is that while you can’t create money out of thin air, you can always sleep a few hours less every week to make something work.
Article by: Gary Vaynerchuk
How do we share and communicate sustainability stories? We're all familiar with many traditional marketing techniques, as in Press Releases, newspaper articles, tv, radio, and advertising. Yet, another way to share your sustainability story is using social engagement. When we talk about social media, we're talking about corporate blogs, Twitter, Facebook. LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and other online social channels.
You might be wondering why use social media for sustainability? Considering that both sustainability and social media deliver on increased business transparency, increased stakeholder engagement, and provide a competitive advantage, executives and proactive businesses like Nike, Starbucks, General Electric are finding their social media strategies are paying off in both short-term and in the long run for communicating sustainability efforts.
Small businesses are finding value in it too. The Social Media Marketing Industry Report illustrates small business owners are seeing the greatest results from social media marketing including:
Building better relationships with partners, prospects and customers.
Attracting prospective customers and compressing sales cycles.
Monitoring competitive positioning and ensuring you’re ahead.
Establishing thought leadership in your industry.
Building brand awareness and preference among decision makers.
Yet, to effectively harness the power of social media to create business sustainability value, there are a few things to keep in mind.
You need a strategy.
You need a social media policy.
You need compelling, content as it relates to your audience and stakeholders.
Understanding the important process of content creation as it relates to your audience is critical. Why? Because customized content targeted towards a specific group and its interest can garner better results in in your marketing efforts than sending out one standard message to everyone. Research has shown that posts that are more interesting and that are clearly customized increases exposure to both the post and the page. This includes customer engagement, increased reach, trust, higher traffic, and sales.
The post, Seeing Is Believing: The Need for Better Sustainability Communications, articulates this opinion nicely, stating, "In an increasingly complex world, one full of distractions, it's imperative to break through the noise and communicate what matters clearly, concisely and transparently. Corporations now have more than an obligation to publish their sustainability efforts; they have an obligation to make sure that the information lands squarely in the hands of consumers in a way that they can understand it. Put more simply, if consumers don't "get it" then companies have an obligation to make sure that they do."