So you think you understand social media?
You think you’ve got a handle on how this social media marketing caper works, do you? Well, why are you finding it hard to engage and interact with your customers, and why ate all you efforts not helping to drive sales and increase profits? The answer is more than likely that you dipped your toe in the water too soon, and maybe got swept up in the social euphoria before you had a clear and defined plan about what your strategy was going to be. First off it’s worth saying that there’s nothing to be ashamed of there: it’s happened to many reputable small companies before and the likelihood it will continue to happen to others in the future. So what can your small business do to put the matter straight? Well, you need to go back to the drawing board and come up with a more targeted and honed strategy.
First off let’s be clear what social media marketing is about.
In a nutshell social media marketing is all about engagement and interaction. What your business is looking for is increased and consistent online exposure: this should ultimately lead to increased website traffic. You can then share your knowledge of your niche and that will result in better lead generation. At the end of the day social media marketing is focused on increasing brand awareness, interacting and engaging with customers, improving search engine ranking and promoting brand advocacy. If you have a plan that will help you achieve this, then your profits will increase.
So how can your small business hone its social media marketing plan?
Start with a joined-up plan.
If you want to exploit the medium fully, then know your strategy. There’s no point going into it half-cocked. If all there was to it is signing up and banging out a couple of updates, every business would be successful. The biggest problem is that if instant success is forthcoming too many people throw in the towel. They miss the point that success isn’t achieved overnight. Forget Kevin Costner’s ‘wise’ words – they won’t necessarily come, unless of course you give them something worth coming for.
Work out your strategy.
What do you want to achieve ultimately. You want profits obviously, but how will you quantify success. Do you want to attract 50 extra leads a month or gather 100 Facebook likes? Do you want to get 50 more click throughs to your website each month from your Twitter feed? Do you know where you want to be in 6 months’ time or in a year? Once you’ve set your goals, you’ll need to work out whether your strategy is good enough to fulfil these.
Who will do the social media work?
As a business owner, are you planning to do the social media donkey work yourself? If you’re an expert in your field then that’s probably a good thing. But remember that all the time you spend on the channel might be better spent dealing with your core business. Should you employ a dedicated social media specialist? Well, that depends on your resources. It’s all about making informed choices. If expert help will improve customer engagement and increase brand awareness, then it could well be worth it. Only you know the answer to that.