Why Social Media Is Not Field of Dreams

Social media is like teen sex. Everyone wants to do it. No one actually knows how.
When finally done, there is surprise it’s not better. -Avinash Kaushik

There are over 7,938,235 articles on social media. And none captures it better than the above quote. I know, I know, social media is a key part of marketing, you have to connect with your customers, everyone else is doing it. And yet– there’s a lot of anticipointment about it.

I blame Kevin Costner and his ridiculous movie, Field of Dreams

Unlike fictional ballparks, just because you build a Facebook page doesn’t mean they will come.

What to Ask Before Creating a Social Media Campaign

Kevin Costner can get away with building something and crossing his fingers that they will come because it’s fiction. In the Land of ROI, however, it makes sense to ask a few questions before diving into such an endeavor.

  1. What’s the purpose of your social media? Is it to get more traffic to your site? Drive leads? Answer questions so your call center doesn’t have 30 minute on hold times? Because everyone else is doing it is not a compelling reason.
  2. What will social media do that your website can’t? It’s not worth building a Facebook page if it’s only going to do the same thing your website is doing. Many of your social media goals could probably be accomplished with an improved website. Do that first before building your field of digital dreams.
  3. What type of social media will work best for you? If you have lots of tasty product photos, Facebook and Pinterest could be good choices. If you publish a lot of industry analysis, perhaps most of your focus should be on LinkedIn. Think about it before setting an account up. It takes a lot of effort to update and respond to each medium. A nice segue to…
  4. Who is going to maintain your social media? Those Facebook pages are not going to grow content without someone constantly planting, nurturing, and pruning the digital crop. Same goes for all the other media. Yes, user content will supply some of that but only once a community has been firmly established which take time and effort.

Once again, it’s not enough to just build it. I am all for using social media in your marketing plan. If you want a movie-esque happy ending, however, be sure to do some real life planning first.