What is my Social Media value?

I’m just going to speak and share some of my thoughts on Social Media in this blog post as I am quite passionate about the subject and I have many visions to both short and long term values of using it for business.

Don’t you like that you read my blog posts and I do not try and sell you something? This being one of the single most important factors in building success on social media, knowing what your audience likes and not trying to sell them something that they have not tuned in for… Just like the advert breaks on television are really meant for us to put the kettle on or stretch our legs, not to learn more about Andrews Toilet Rolls or DFS Sofa Sale adverts… Who really loves the adverts now on most of the Youtube videos – A pain aren’t they and you always skip the ads after 5 seconds!?

I really see that those of us who have taken their social media seriously, above and beyond just doing the ‘necessary’, are really in for an exciting journey to come over the next few years. Yes for sure, with social media, we are at the mercy of the people who own the portals, if Facebook and Twitter decide to close down, then many of us will be turned to dust… But that is the same as if the internet decides to turn off for millions of companies around the world, or the national telephone / electricity grid turns off, London Transport goes on an indefinite strike etc… Worst case scenarios, unlikely to happen as they are too much a way of life now.

If it goes the way many of us predict, the next few years, especially for business communication to consumers, will be via the internet, mostly via social media and most probably to mobile phones. You’ll either have the budgets to buy in huge databases of consumer mobile IP addresses to target or you’ll have to / will have gathered a strong audience on one or more social media channels to build strong relationships with consumers. I see that followers on social media could become more valuable than emails at some point soon… (another conversation for another day).

Many people I know are earning themselves good money on the back of their blogs, their YouTube Channel, their Twitter Account etc and mainly because businesses have started to target general people out there who have amassed big audiences on social media, be it from a past-time or hobby, but whatever way, they have an audience for a specific subject that a company wishes to target in order to introduce their brand to. Target traffic is the key thing here, no longer will a double page advert in a national newspaper be king any more as readership is hard to define, whereas if you were for example a power tool company and you are sponsoring a DIY YouTube Channel from someone living in the country you wish target who simply posts ‘how to’ videos yet have built a subscription database of 100,000+, you’re assured of a more or less 100% target audience. Your company then knows that you can tap into their audience which is mostly made up of people interested in doing jobs around the house and who’d likely be making a purchase of a power tool in the next 12 months. Double page advert in the Daily Mail for a day or a permanent sponsorship of an internet TV channel with a 100,000+ subscription database highly interested in using power tools to carry out work on their property?

I myself have been asked to review many products because of the following I have across social media. Not only been asked, but have been paid to write and share, have been given products for free to revue on social media and have also had paid for trips to other countries in order to share updates on social media whilst I was there. Companies nowadays are not only looking at traditional/standard ways to advertise, but they are looking at social media too – As an Estate Agent, why shouldn’t you contact that person who runs the local ‘towns’ group of 10,000’s on Facebook and see what synergies you can build, why not pay them to place posts on their page for you, what about sponsoring their page and have your branding present? They are likely to hold a valuable audience that your agency will get a strong response from so it is very wise for an estate agency to look at local social media accounts / groups and see who they can pair with in order to increase their brand awareness.

Things are moving fast in technology and it is all about making things easier, more compact, faster and for some, all of this needs to combine with a look of being trendy / with it too. Anything you want to research, from people to recipes, or whatever you wish to order, from pizzas to holidays, can all be done online and from your mobile device. Delivery is key, simple to understand, easy to read results and advice and sitting on a platform that attracts people, ie an app, mobile website, and will also have social media accounts attached.

Marketing is turning away from you explaining  who you are and what you do to consumers over to educating people on subjects which they have interest in knowing more about and wrapping brand awareness for your business around it. If this sounds confusing, then quite simply, instead of an advert telling people what you are an interior designer and the services you offer, you try and become known as one of the best channels online that gives out daily home staging / interior design tips and delivers this across social media where an active target audience which you are after more or less lives on. Be seen as the leading authority in interior design…

Social Media can be split in to three types of themes which you should try and stick to in order to build a valuable audience. Each part will require content, ie blogs, images, videos to enhance them:

  • Educational and Advice. You are looking to attract an audience after the information you are sharing which in turn will lead them to value your brand over others and entrust in you requests for further information and ideally purchasing and ordering from you too. You are looking to build authority in your industry, the go to brand for consumers at a set stage in the whole customer relationship / buying process.
  • Engagement and Creativity. Once you have an audience following, then it is keeping them engaged which will ideally lead them on to grow attached to your brand and increase chances of purchasing and re-purchasing. Showcase how your products / services can be used, how they are being used, creative and new ways your business can showcase it’s offering to increase attachment to your brand.
  • Conversation / Q&A’s. Social media is not all about content coming from you. You will need to engage in conversations, entice questions and answers, share and like other people’s content and involve yourself in conversations even outside your ‘network’. Just like when you go business networking to one of those ‘breakfast club’ style events, you can not simply stand in the corner alone with your head down, you need to be confident, chatty, ask what people do and share your details…

There is a value to likes / members / followers etc but this will vary from business type to business location / size. Certainly if you take up one of the paid for promotions with Facebook, Twitter etc then they will usually let you know what the cost will be to acquire a new like / follower. Common sense should really provide a valuation of any social media account, things to consider are:

  • How genuine is the social media account you are interest in? Is it made up of fake followers and likes? What is the size of the audience? What kind of content has been shared on the account in the past and importantly, what engagement have these updates had?
  • What is the theme of the social media account – Is it general or specific? How big is the following / membership compared to the audience you are looking to target. Is the audience local?
  • Does the social media account show up in any Google searches? This is a good thing to check as many posts / accounts do now show up in Google searches and this will give you an idea of the strength of what you are looking to purchase / get involved with.
  • Who owns the group? Are they genuine or do they own many groups and pages? This could be an issue going forward especially if they become suspended from any social media platform and their activities become investigated. There is no real law against buying and selling social media accounts, though you will also have to consider that there will be no protection for you either if things go wrong.

Subscribers, Followers, Likes, Members are all important words now. The more you have of them (quality though always over quantity), then the more power you have going forward…

Christopher Walkey

Founder of Estate Agent Networking. Internationally invited speaker on how to build online target audiences using Social Media. Writes about UK property prices, housing, politics and affordable homes.

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