I did something interesting today. Well, interesting to me. I went on dictionary.com and looked up social. Twelve similar definitions came up but I was most intrigued by #4:
- living or disposed to live in companionship with others or in a community, rather than in isolation: People are social beings.
Let’s apply that definition to social media. The need for companionship across a plethora of social channels has given way to an increased competitive spirit. Companies whose social strategy is “More, More, More” are determined to build their friend count hoping this will translate into sales. And though that may sound good, even reasonable, social media marketing is much more complex. Turns out having a whole bunch of friends can be very isolating if you don’t know what to do with them.
For instance, take my local gym. It currently lists over 1,300 friends on Facebook. Perusing the friend list, I can honestly say I’ve never seen any of these people working out. That begs the title question – What Do You Do With the Friends You Have? For friends to convert into revenue, they have to be the right friends. To that end, search and email marketing would help.
Small to mid-level businesses, my gym included, should update their Facebook profiles to continuously attract higher search results and engage users. In order to improve social search positioning, your corporate profile shouldn’t resemble your personal profile. If you’re a gym, your corporate profile is not the place to praise the latest menu option at the local pizzeria. Also, include relevant brand keywords like “fitness”, “workout routines”, “cardio” and “exercise”. Search marketers can help you create a keyword portfolio designed to be both cost-efficient and results-effective.
On the email side, creating a newsletter or promotional messaging will not only benefit your Facebook friends but their interested and actionable network as well. With respect to my gym, social email marketing can take its pool of friends, wean out the ones that are less likely to join and fortify efforts to get those interested on the treadmill.
More, more, more can work if your goal is to take your friends and turn them into sales. Each business has its own unique brand identity. The mistake companies make is equating friend counts with furthering that identity. Ultimately too many friends without a sound performance-based strategy can prove very socially isolating.