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5 social media pain points and the point they prove

To see results using social media, you don’t need a social media strategy. You don’t need to know all the capabilities of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, social apps or how to schedule tweets and posts on multiple social networks all at one time. You need a business strategy. When you have one, the right social networks, tools, apps and measurements reveal themselves. This is the point of this post. To prove it, let’s take an example, taken from a Rutgers University Mini-MBA on Social Media Marketing. Rutgers is one of the first universities in the country to offer an MBA in Social Media Marketing.

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Here are 5 social media pain points and the point they prove.

1. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE: In the Rutgers class, comprised of people for leading companies as well as entrepreneurs, no one had an immediate answer to this question for their business; then, a few said: “generate awareness,” “create interest” and “increase sales.” Then someone said, “I want to achieve a year’s worth of sales in 3 months.” I thought: “Good luck with that.” This person then told us he was a beer distributor and his company was launching a beer called Leinenkugel. The launch would occur in the Northeast this July when beer seasonality was at its peak. It was a reach goal, but it was possible.

2, WHO DO YOUR WANT TO ATTRACT: Most marketers describe their target in demographics(age, income, geography) and pyschographic (shared interests and values) terms. Because our beer distributor was so clear in his objective, he knew the exact bars, restaurants and events where he needed to make an impact. We found they all had a Facebook and Twitter presence. We also found we could speak to them directly and geo-target beer drinkers at events in real time through tools like Twitter Search or identify brand advocates on Facebook through Booshaka. He ended up not only being able to describe them but he knew their names.

3. HOW DO THEY FIND YOU: We looked at the Google Analytics of the beer distributor’s website. We could see through “Traffic Sources” the social networks that were driving traffic to the website. As a result, we could see how the website could be used to help build relationships established through social media and people at the company should spend their time.

4. WHAT IS YOUR VALUE EXCHANGE: In social media, as in life, you have to give in order to get. We considered sweepstakes, giveaways, coupons, all amplified by social sharing through a Facebook app called Wildfire. Because as the chart below shows, the #1 reason people are motivated to “Like” a brand is to receive an offer or discount. And the #2 reason is if you show them some love, they will show their support in return.

Why People "Like" a Brand on Facebook

HOW DO YOU ACCOUNT FOR THE MONEY, TIME AND RESOURCES INVOLVED: As the plan began to demonstrate its feasibility, it was clear this would not involve much out of pocket costs, but it would involve people’s time to implement, measure and optimize. That was a different, but important, currency that needed to be accounted for.

These are basic questions any business should ask. By confronting these pain points for social media, they prove you don’t need a social social media strategy, you need a business strategy.

I am fortunate to be among the great faculty because I learn so much not only from teaching but the people I get the chance to teach. What do these 5 social media pain points prove to you?

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