I finally discovered something that I disagree with Fast Company about. Don’t get me wrong, I still love ‘em and all, but I really think they’ve got it wrong here. My fave biz magazine stated in an infographic last fall that one of the hard-and-fast rules of digital marketing is that there must be ROI associated with all social media.
And I’m calling BS on that.
When you start out determined that every Tweet, post, or blog MUST achieve certain metrics no matter what, you’re doomed to fail. This is a lot of pressure to put on yourself—and on your customers. If you come out of the gate committed to holding your customers’ feet to the fire in order to get a bunch of comments, RTs, and Likes—or even worse, sales—you run less risk of success than you do of totally alienating your target audience.
Some may disagree with me on this (and you’re welcome to comment below), but I think the essence of social media is that it helps develop a relationship with your audience. It gives you a personality, an opportunity to engage, and the ability to develop trust with your customers—without expecting anything of them.
Social media, when it comes down to it, is a kick-ass wingman who will show you at your best, and enable potential customers to get to know you in a no-pressure environment. And that leaves them free to make decisions based upon their confidence in you and your offering, which is WAY better for long-term loyalty.