That’s not to say that social media is a waste of time—though we may feel like we’ve wasted our share of hours scrolling through endless updates. Rest assured, though, that online networking can be an extremely effective means of promoting growth. In fact, new research based on a study of 500 CEOs and executives proves it. Take a look:
High Growth Firms Put More Focus Online
We asked both high growth firms and service providers with average growth to rate the relative focus the placed on a number of online tools. Across the board, the use of these online tools was emphasized more in high growth firms. And among those tools are, you guessed it, several social media platforms. As you can see, high growth firms put nearly twice as much emphasis on two of the biggest two social media marketing platforms—Facebook and Twitter—than their average growth counterparts. They put more emphasis on LinkedIn as well, though the gap isn’t quite as wide.
What’s more, high growth firms find their social media marketing tools more effective than the average growth firms. See Figure 2 below.
And the Experts Agree
Further, there’s a connection between the effectiveness of these tools and the degree of user proficiency. High growth firms find online tools more effective than average firms, but it’s the experts that really get the most from them.
Point being, you may be wasting your time with social media marketing. But that doesn’t mean these online tools are useless. Far from it. If you’re not putting enough focus on social media or doing it half-heartedly, you can’t blame the tool.
Spending 5 or 10 minutes a few times throughout the week to update your status or share a blog post won’t put you in the high growth category. A good rule of thumb for social media marketing is spending a minimum of 10-15 minutes a day on each platform, consistently, to see results. Sure, that can add up to a busy day. But remember, not everything has to fall on a single set of shoulders. Dividing up your social media efforts internally is a great way to integrate new strategies without overwhelming anyone at your firm.
What should you share?
And exactly what should you share during your social media efforts? First, make sure you have a wealth of content to share: blog posts, articles, webinars—content that will engage your audience.
Connect with, follow, and retweet others in your industry, or those who share your interests or background. Look for groups to join, and connect with past and potential clients. Follow and share – in return, you’ll be followed and others will begin to share your content. Online relationships can build quickly, so put positive energy into them and your reputation and visibility will begin to grow.
Still not sure what to do? No worries (after all, we can’t all be those experts from Figure 3), there are plenty of folks out there who can help. With guidance, a little engagement can go a long way towards generating interest in your firm, and providing the growth you’ve been working towards.
About the Author:
Lee W. Frederiksen, Ph.D., is Managing Partner at Hinge, a marketing firm that specializes in branding and marketing for professional services. Hinge is a leader in rebranding firms to help them grow faster and maximize value.
– InvestmentPal Guest