It is always good to get feedback from readers.
The best feedback is when readers suggest ways that I can improve these columns or offer subject matters for me to consider (particularly where a business highlights a new initiative or something really innovative that they are doing).
Every now and then I get emails or texts asking my opinion on a current topic of interest or something going on in town. Again, it's great to get these questions and I thought over the coming weeks I would try to answer a few of them here.
Today's question is:
Is the use of social media to promote business actually effective?
It really depends on the business concerned.
However, if we are talking about all businesses, it is really important that you go into any social media investment knowing exactly who you want to target and also what data you want out of it – not least how you plan to use it.
As time goes on social media is showing itself as being a little bit like the "wild west" in terms of the validity and accuracy of information found on it and, in my view, this can only limit its potency as a delivery device for messages about your business.
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If you use Facebook you will be familiar with the number of quotes that appear, seemingly by people that we would naturally respect.
I heard a statistic on a podcast recently that more than 50 per cent of these quotes are bogus – those cute pictures of Albert Einstein, most of those quotes aren't his.
Now this is just a small sample but if you extrapolate that, do you really want your products and your brand on a platform where users might question the veracity of what is being posted.
Additionally, too many people I know have jumped at supposed giveaways by reputable brands (Land Rover, Pak N Save, Air New Zealand among others) only to find that they are bogus.
If we look closer at Facebook, it is clearly being used by large corporates to reach into the market.
However, it is important to know that the algorithms used on the platform are designed to keep you coming back but for the clicks rather than specifically to support advertisers.
If you pay for advertising on Facebook it is possibly a comfort to know that it is very hard for a user to shut down the advertising but you have to be prepared for your message to be drowned by the multitude of ads and, at times, terrible posts which a Facebook user (your target customer) has no control over.
And that's it with social media, it's all a little too good to be true – like your "friends'" posts on Instagram and TikTok. Or in the case of news and politics it's skewed by the algorithm into what you want to see rather than what you should or need to see.
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So in this environment I would recommend that if you want to utilise social media that you find someone who knows what they are doing and ensure that there are clear goals and outcomes that you want from your investment.
If you want advice or to be put in touch with someone who knows what they are doing feel free to give me a call. I will try to get you the answer(s) all the questions you may have.
•Balance Consulting is a Whanganui consultancy specialising in business strategy, process excellence and leadership mentoring - contact Russell Bell on 021 2442421 or John Taylor on 027 4995872.