co What Is Social Media Supposed To Do? |

Have you seen the (gasp) Gallup results on The Myth Of Social Media? If you were hoping it would show that social media involvement gets measurable results in marketing, you’ll be disappointed. Instead, respondents to the poll show results like this:

  • 62% are not influenced by social media when they make purchases
  • 29% use social media to find reviews on products or follow trends
  • 20% write reviews of products or comment on what’s new

That doesn’t mean we need to spend more money on getting our message out. It means we need to wrap our brains around the way that social media works.

Social Media Is Supposed To Connect People

According to the report:

“…many companies continue to treat social media as a one-way communication vehicle and are largely focused on how they can use these sites to push their marketing agendas. These efforts are out of place in a channel that encourages transparency.”

That means a conversation instead of a presentation.

If your customers know that you post helpful information on your Facebook page, they are going to visit your page whether or not it shows up on their newsfeed. They share that helpful information because it appealed to them, and that friend comes to your page to see what else you have going on.

A conversation also is ongoing and two-way, right? That means you take turns listening and answering, respecting each other’s views. If your customers don’t feel respected, and don’t get responses to their questions, that’s not a conversation or connecting. In fact, you’ll lose that customer to someone who does connect.

The conclusion of the Gallup report is interesting. They suggest that people are looking for companies that are authentic, responsive, and compelling. The benefit of social media is not directly related to sales revenue but in customer relationship.

Here’s what I conclude from this interesting poll: Social media is a small but potent part of your interaction with your market and the way it looks for your business will depend on the relationship you have with your customers. Social Media Marketing isn’t a myth, but it isn’t a magic potion either. It’s a good way to strengthen your customer relations, and that can’t always be measured.