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Thursday, April 10, 2014

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Social Media - An Awareness Generator

I recently noticed my morning habit has changed. For years, after turning on the computer, my first action would be to open email. Then I'd skim the radio industry and indie artist trades.

If I got to social media it was usually for personal consumption later in the day, or "as scheduled" if I wanted to make an Audio Graphics post. Knowing how low a percentage of "Friends," "Connections," "Followers," or folks in my "Circles" (Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Google+) are exposed to anything put there means not much time is devoted to social media for business reasons. Even less for personal.
"Adding to increasing social media's worth is creating a systematic way for posting; where saying something of value, and tracking response, does not go beyond a few minutes."

Social media was previously the non-essential part of being online. I questioned the personal need for it, and deemed SM not worth the time for business because of a negative-ROI.

As noted, my habit has changed. Today:
1) After opening email, I took a run through social media sites for a quick update on business and personal items. Because this is SM, the information/entertainment has been tailored to my tastes. I move extremely fast though the content, mentally noting items that need attention later. To ingest this much information 15 years ago would have taken hours. Now it's done in 15 minutes.
2) I then read through radio industry and indie artist trades, spending about half the time on them that I did two years ago.

Due to my analyzing data on traffic from various SM (using multiple platforms is required), I know what portion of time needs to be devoted to each. I also know if the way I use it for business needs tweeking to increase response.

This flip-flop of a morning ritual is important. It represents a changing of the guard, and it correlates with a transition of traditional media's importance and how indie artists must reevaluate revenue streams.

Here's your take-away for the day. Social media could not fill any of my needs unless: 1) it was stylized to my wants and preferences; 2) I had learned how each service was used by consumers; and 3) I had gained knowledge on what each service accomplishes (when used on AG web sites).

Adding to increasing social media's worth is creating a systematic way for posting; where saying something of value, and tracking response, does not go beyond a few minutes. If you can't get it down to this last point it's a wasted motion.

To get more from social media, shorten the time devoted to outgoing SM messages. Post in a systematic way, and track response. Do not expect much effect on the bottom line.*

For me, social media, while not effective as a revenue generator, is important for generating awareness. Personally, it's awareness of items needing attention in my world; in business, it's awareness for a small percentage of "Friends," "Connections," "Followers," and "Circles" interested in Audio Graphics' products and services. (SM does not reach everyone on your list.)

The radio industry, and most indie artists, waste a lot of motion on social media. My guess is that few in either group have done a quantified "what's in it for me" evaluation.

Take inventory of how your habits have changed over the past few years. See if there hasn't been a swing to gathering more information quickly first, and then moving on to your "business of the day." That's your own new way of "gaining awareness."

How consumers digest advertising or promotional announcements has not changed; if it's relative, you'll get their attention.

Where you get their attention has changed, along with how people find your message. In social media, figuring logistics is essential; otherwise don't waste your time.

*Increasing revenue is a different aspect of being online, impacted by how much awareness you generate and how well your "landing page" carries its message.

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