Did you play last nights Powerball? A grand prize of $579.9 million, a jackpot unprecedented in Powerball history, awaits the hands of two lucky winners.
With over 80 million possible outcomes for the drawing, Powerball players needed a lot of luck to match all five lottery numbers and the correct Powerball number. Once these are chosen, the opportunity to win rested not in their hands but in the luck of the random draw. That luck benefited onlytwo tickets, though tickets were being sold at a rate of 130,000 per minutenationwide–talk about bad odds.
So what does Powerball teach you about social media strategy? Many things in life can be managed by strategy rather than luck, especially your social media marketing. Take a look at these two examples:
SCENARIO 1: PLAYING SOCIAL MEDIA LIKE IT’S THE LOTTERY
Suppose you and your business’s marketing manager choose to implement social media messaging for your organization on your favorite social platforms. You establish a Facebook page and pinboard and post when you find time, hoping that by chance someone will desire to do business with you after seeing your messaging.
This type of minimal, random effort in social media in hopes of creating new business connections is like buying a $1 ticket to win the Powerball jackpot: it may happen, but chances are slim. You hope your social efforts will bring in positive results, but nothing seems to be happening. You see little growth in follower numbers or engagement with your organization. Discouraged by this lack of results, you begin to post less often as other priorities pile on your desk. Eventually you conclude social media doesn’t work and decide to scrap the project.
SCENARIO 2: A REAL SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
Suppose you recognize your employees are strapped for time even without a social media requirement, so you find a trusty-worthy social media manager to initiate and grow your organization’s social presence. Before initiating a series of postings, the social media manager interviews you about your existing clients and your goals for client growth, topics you never considered important to social media before. Your social media manager gains a deep understanding of your target audience, explaining that the social platforms you use should be relevant to those your target audience uses.
The social media manager finds that the majority of your existing and potential clients use LinkedIn and Twitter, and begins establishing your presence there. He/she posts material relevant to your followers in a consistent, structured way. Each week your manager sends you a report detailing how your followers have interacted with your organization, and adjusts your social media messaging to match your audience’s likes and habits. This dynamic, strategic approach produces even greater social media engagement and traffic to your organization’s site.
Success in social media is not about luck. It is about a regular commitment (aka hard work defined by strategy) that can yield results over time. Don’t leave the success of your social media strategy to chance. Instead, seek a professional who can analyze and understand your organization’s unique needs and suggest a data-driven approach. This way, the odds of winning in social media will be much more favorable than that of winning Powerball.