Small businesses understand that social media is an important part of their online marketing, however many feel that they’re not getting a good return on investment give the time and effort they put into building their network of leads and new customers.
One of the key reasons many small businesses feel disappointed with their social media markeing results is that they haven’t worked out a strategy to follow before they even begin building out their Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, WordPress and other social channels.
There are 3 key goals you should set yourself before even thinking about registering a new social media account or creating a new social network page:
1) Why are you engaging in social media marketing?
The first thing that’s important to understand is why you’re committing time, resources and in the case of social advertising, money, into social media marketing. Are you intending to use social media as a sales channel, a customer feedback or service related tool or are you simply building a brand awareness.
It’s important to know the direction you want to take on social media as this will influence how you build your voice and persona. It will also create an understanding in your audience’s mind on what they’ll gain by following your social media accounts.
2) What do you want to achieve with social media marketing?
This goal is extremely important in managing expectations, once you’ve established why you’re investing in social media marketing, the next goal is to understand clearly understand what you want to achieve.
If you are focusing on sales perhaps you’ll want to be setting conversion targets for each of your social channels and setting up a tool such as Google Analytics to measure your results. If you’re using social to provide a customer service interface to your business or building brand awareness then you might be measuring the sentiment of your brand with tools such as SocialMention.Com.
3) Who do you want to attract and interact with?
One of the biggest mistakes many small businesses make is creating a social media channel and filling it up with as many followers as possible without considering the personas of the network they’re building. As in all areas of marketing it’s extremely important to understand who your target customers are, when and where they hang out and what they’re interested in.
On social media quality of followers and friends takes precedence over quantity every time. Not only will the irrelevant connections clutter your timeline they could even stop you from gaining the right connections since many new followers check out who else is in your community before deciding whether to follow you too.
Pick your social media friends, followers, who to follow and connections carefully and build a strong network of relevant and engaging people.
In conclusion, if you’re struggling to understand why you’re not getting results from your social media efforts it’s probably because your goals for it are unclear. Take some time to think carefully about all 3 of the goals I’ve listed and see how you can fit them into your social media strategy. You’ll be surprised how quickly things turn around.
Photo Credit: Flickr CC
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