About Effective Social Media – Can We Really Talk?

by CHERYL GNAD on December 7, 2015

Girl Talk - effective social media

Is your Social media like “Girl Talk”?

About Effective Social Media! Can We Really Talk?

“What makes social media effective? Isn’t it good enough that I am on Facebook?”

The new year is fast approaching. You’ve been working long hours catching up on your Black Friday/Christmas season sales! Your social media work has been…not so up-to-date, but that’s ok, you have more business than you can handle now! Why should you be concerned about your social media PRESENCE  now!? Note – I italicized PRESENCE. Why did I do that? First let me list a few misconceptions people have. This isn’t saying you is guilty of ALL of these, but maybe you will recognize a few –

  • “Sure! I’m on social media.” or “Sure! I talk on social media” – you mean Facebook , right?
  • You are ON social media – you have Facebook
  • You are doing business topic posts on Facebook on your profile side – so the few hundred of your profile friends see your business thus your are reaching lots of people
  • Your Facebook profile site is good for you and you tell your “friends” about your business there, but not on a Facebook BUSINESS Page!
  • Your Facebook Page reach is low, BUT you do post periodically – like 2-3x a week, so you are “doing social media”
  • You post to Facebook – about your business, on a Facebook PAGE, – you are there, but Facebook doesn’t work – too complicated, you don’t see results, but – you are there
  • You have too much work (in store/shop/service) to manage your Facebook, let alone other social media platforms!
  • Your “traditional” marketing is enough. (print, phonebook, direct mail, email)
  • You have a high school student or college student “doing” your social media – so you have it in hand ok.
  • You have a person in office that is “savvy” on how to work Facebook and Twitter so – you, again, have it in hand ok.
  • Facebook business page is your “professional” page. So you talk “professional” on it, not like you would on your personal profile side.
  • Instagram is just a lot of pictures – not a business platform
  • You can’t judge the effectiveness metrically (by numbers) on social media – you really doubt its effectiveness anyways.

I am sure I can go on and on. I’ve heard these and many more comments about having social media as actually being  “a part of your marketing plan”! Many small business owners do not KNOW how to create an EFFECTIVE social media post let alone and EFFECTIVE social media marketing strategy! Shoot! Even I questioned what that was in my first 2 years as a social media manager (SMMgr)! But I’ve LEARNED!

In the 4 years that I’ve been a SMMgr and have grown to become now a social media marketing strategist and coach. Social media has grown and evolved! Keeping up with those changes means practicing and understanding what makes it one of the BEST forms of marketing a business can have.  Ok, let me correct that. Social media is a MUST HAVE for a PART of any business’s marketing plans! Do you have a plan – which includes your social media?

Think the bigger picture for your marketing in 2016!

As you’ve been seeing, your presence online – on the internet – is vital for your sales! Yes, you say have a web page, so you think you are riding the “mobile” culture just fine. Sadly, if you aren’t active on your website, updating  it regularly with NEW additions or products or…blogs, then you aren’t being found nearly as often as your neighbor’s business who works their social media presence! (PLUS! If you haven’t made your website “mobile -friendly” then Google isn’t promoting you!)  Let me say that in another way. The business that understands the value of their customers and ENGAGES with them through their social media presence, is getting a LOT more traffic – to their website or brick and mortar store front! I.e. – more business!

Just take a look at last week’s headlines about online shopping for Black Friday! –

BUSINESS DAY|Black Friday Shopping Shifts Online as Stores See Less Foot Traffic

” Mickey Mericle, Adobe’s vice president of marketing insights and analytics, said that this holiday shoppers seemed to finally be using their mobile devices not just to browse, but to make purchases.”

FierceRetail | Sales up, but key e-commerce metrics in decline

“Personalization is another factor to be considered in product recommendations. “We think of personalization as changing any part of the buying journey to reflect preferences you already know about the visitor,” “

Also, read:

” Except for stronger performances from tablets among devices, and from social media traffic, conversion rates have declined overall “

Fierceretail _ conversion rates

From: http://www.fierceretail.com/retailit/story/sales-key-e-commerce-metrics-decline/2015-09-23

For more superb articles about this year’s online sales, you will find almost 2 dozen articles linked below, telling you what is dictating the online shopping experience.

Read: Black Friday & Cyber Monday Statistics  http://marketingland.com/library/holiday-retailer

Are you using your social media correctly? Are you ready for your future online presence?

Diffusing the Misconceptions

One of the most common misconceptions is believing that by just having an account that has a BUSINESS PAGE on Facebook is the same as being on social media. I don’t wish to deflate your belief, even though it is good that you are using it, albeit Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, etc., it just might be better to not have a Facebook presence at all. That is, if you only update or post to your social media sites  just 3x or less a week! Some businesses believe that by just staying “up-to-date” on their Facebook page is good enough. I have to admit, more and more people are checking out businesses, especially retail stores and restaurants, to see if they are a thriving business or restaurant to go visit! This is a big plus for restaurants, grocer/specialty stores, food product stores, boutiques, etc. – especially when foot traffic is a big plus to the success of that business.

Another big plus to being online with social media is to create a community of loyal customers thus creating that draw for potential customers because those customers will SEE you engaging and solving problems that they can appreciate! Remember, being successfully on social media is to solve your client’s/customer’s problem! When you do, they won’t want to try others. To keep them you must continue to – educate and entertain! You must be able to be available to your customers too! When they talk to you there, you want to be readily available to answer! The expectation is within the same day or the next work day if over a weekend. YES! That quick! Not next week! How do you solve the time it takes to manage your social media? That is when a social media manager comes in handy. They are there to monitor any of the times that a customer reaches out to you. They can’t be you, but they can notify you when only you can answer their question. SMMgrs can also help by posting meaningful and educational content for your audience to keep them engaged and reach a broad spectrum of interests they may have! However, you are responsible for posts that truly reflect who YOU are and your culture/business.

Now, I know you say that you have a “high school or college” person (friend, brother, sister, cousin, someone looking for some cash) doing your social media. Beware! Would you turn your marketing over to them when it comes to your advertising, art, newsletters, postcards, TV/radio spots, etc.? Of course not! Why would you your social media marketing? Social media isn’t just a broadcasting system! It needs YOU, and you know who YOU are and what your product or service is all about!

This has mostly talked about the value of social media in the very personable realm of marketing. The other reasons are very technical, but also valuable and mostly easy done. Whereas, creating community and loyalty takes concentrated effort.

Other reasons are:

  • Drive traffic to your website for better Google rankings
  • Better branding
  • Word of mouth
  • Reputation building
  • Compete on level ground with the large companies
  • Cheaper than traditional advertising
  • Greater reach online
  • Networking
  • Accessibility to customers; learning their preferences
  • Others are gaining their target audience out there, why aren’t you?


Need more help?

Don’t let the length of time to grow your audience or fans deter you from getting started. Keep after it. You will eventually become a viable source of information and “friend” to many online. Nothing is going to do this in the same way as social media does. You can learn it with the help of a social media marketer. Social Focus by CG specializes in helping coach/train small businesses to make that social media relationship grow. Your presence on social media may depend on it. Social Focus by CG can coach any small business, not just local.  Call 312-/530-1419 – leave a msg for a free 1st 30 min. consultation/introduction.

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Written by CHERYL GNAD


Cheryl Gnad, of owner/social media consultant with Social Focus by CG, offers coaching and consulting for small businesses looking to incorporate social media into their advertising strategies. She is a self-developed business owner, and a trained social media manager with names like Kate Buck Jr., Amy Porterfield, Kim Garst and Sandi Krakowski. Follow her on Facebook at Social Focus by CG, Twitter@SocialFocusbyCG, and on Linkedin.

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