Social Media Marketing: It's Not What You Do, It's The Way That You Do It.

Social media marketing is constantly being talked up by marketing professionals.

They praise its brand-building powers and its potential to engage, and they are generally right to do so. But, if social media marketing is the be-all and end-all in terms of engagement and resonance, why do so many small businesses never manage to recoup the expected benefits? Why does the investment in time and money in social media, often fail to deliver the expected dividends? The answer, in a nutshell, is because they’re generally doing it wrong. To succeed in social media marketing you have to understand that it’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it. If you don’t target your campaigns then you will never succeed.

Successful small business owners target their social media activities for maximum impact. They have a strategy and a definite end-goal in sight. Whilst their competitors are caught up in the minute of social media activities, tweeting and blogging randomly, successful small business owners focus and fine-tune their social media strategy and carefully target their social media campaigns. So how can SMEs better target their social media campaigning? What should they do to improve the return on their social media investment?

Target your platforms.

Ask yourself these questions: which social media platforms generate the greatest number of business leads? Which platforms generate the greatest brand exposure and customer contact? The answer is Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. For the greatest success, small businesses should focus their efforts on those 3 platforms alone and get to know how they work, and what practices deliver the best results. For instance, tweets that include links and photos are 86% more likely to be retweeted than plain tweets alone. When SMEs have mastered the basics of these 3 platforms, they can then go on to dabble with other platforms like Pinterest, Tumblr and YouTube.

Set a regular social media schedule.

If you want to get the best out of social media, you’ll need to set up a strict schedule and you’ll definitely need to stick to the task. There’s no point dipping in and out of the medium in a haphazard way, posting or tweeting when and if the mood takes you. You need to set aside a time for posting new content to your social media accounts. How you apportion the time is up to you. What matters is that you complete all your social media tasks during this period. The advantage of this is that it will enable you to avoid distractions and unnecessary time wasting.

Timing targets.

If you are able to post to social media channels at certain times of the day, then there’s a greater likelihood that your posts will generate engagement. How can we know this? Well, numerous studies have shown that social media posts are more likely to provide valuable exposure so long as they are posted at specific times of the day. So which slots are the prime posting slots? Well, evidence suggests that just before and after the hour, and around lunch or dinner time, are the most productive ones. What’s more, evidence would suggest that Tuesdays and Thursdays are the days where social media posts are most likely to receive attention, so businesses should make sure they target these times.

Target your content.

Before you post something on Facebook or Twitter ask yourself this question. Would anyone share this nugget of information with their friends and family? If you think the answer to this question is no, then don’t post it. Twitter has over 750 million users, whilst Facebook has over a billion users. All of them are posting content hoping that somewhere, somehow their content will resonate with other users. You have to find a way of making sure your content is what they’ll want to share with others. So you’ll need to provide content that is engaging and informative and adds value.

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