I can make the case that every company can find a way to benefit from social media.

..and in the same breath, I would say that there are some businesses which have no business using social media.

The allure of social media attracts us as an advertising source with a lot of potential. Yet, its nature is anything but traditional advertising.

As social media continues to change their paid ads vs unpaid listings policies, users use more ad blocking software, and users become “ad blind,” glossing over ads which appear in their feed, the days of “pay for an ad and get seen” are passing by.

Which means that social media requires more effort than ever before.

Social media requires time

The amount of time varies from company to company, but in the end, someone is going to be spending their time on it. That someone may be you, a key employee, or possibly a professional or agency which you hire. It can easily use up an hour or more each day.

Social media, by its nature, requires one to be social with it. It doesn’t just “work” because it is there. There are conversations to be had, pictures to post, items to write, and comments to monitor if one if going to have any success with social media as it continues to grow.

Social media requires building an audience

An audience means much more than a number of people who “follow” you online (which is hard enough to generate on its own).

A true audience is made up of people who actively want to hear and see what you say and will interact with you online. An audience made up of people like this, “fans,” if you will, has a chance to create results for you.

Building an audience requires you to figure out a way to entice them to follow you online. Then you have to post things which they will look at and interact with, like going through a photo album or watching a video, or participating in a poll, etc.

The more they interact with your posts, the more likely they are to see more of what you post. The social media platforms push those types of commercial posts in front of your audience. Meanwhile, if they do not interact, what you post actually gets pushed further down the line of what they will see.

Social media requires building interesting content

People will not look at content which you post unless it gets their interest to do/see more.

What you post has to get their attention, and then it has to keep their attention. Visuals, such as photos and videos go far in this effort. They don’t have to be the content, in themselves… they can be an illustration to attract eyes on a social media feed.

In Social Media Todays’ article, “What the Most Shared Content on Facebook Can Teach You About Engagement, they report that “Get clever with your clutter… 7 organization hacks!” was the #1 most shared item on Facebook in 2017. It was a video with practical tips which got shared 15.6 million times.

But somebody is going to need to create all of that content, including the pictures and videos. This can cost anywhere from free to thousands of dollars, depending on what you produce.

Is social media going to be something on which you can focus your efforts?

Someone has to do the work. Either, you, a key employee, or a hired professional or firm. Buying an ad and letting it go to work doesn’t work on social media as well as it used to. If you are not going to get the effort needed for it to be effective, then social media may not be for you, and you should consider carefully whether or not you want to particiapte in it.

Social Media Today: What the Most Shared Content on Facebook Can Teach You About Engagement