Social Media is an incredibly valuable way of connecting with your target audience. You just need a strategy to start seeing ROI (return on your investment – mostly time).
I presented a webinar on Social Media Networking for Small Business. You can watch it here. However, if you don’t have time to sit through the hour presentation, here are the highlights…
Is Social Media Really Marketing?
I sometimes get asked, “Is social media networking really marketing?” To put it simply, “yes.” However, I might classify it more as guerrilla marketing. Jay Conrad Levison, the famous author and businessman who coined the phrase “Guerrilla Marketing,” once described it as “Achieving conventional goals, such as profits and joy, with unconventional methods, such as investing energy instead of money.”
And, one thing social media can take is energy. Or, perhaps better put, time. In fact, many small business owners and managers tell me they would do more if they just had the time.
Another hang up to social media is, if you aren’t familiar with it or keep up on it, you can find it very intimidating. You may have seen this graphic floating around recently. While it isn’t entirely accurate, the point is, a lot of businesses don’t know where to begin. In this and the next series of blog posts, I will try to give you some pointers on what social media platforms may work for you.
Keys to an Effective Social Media Strategy
- Setting Goals
- Know Your Audience
- Find Your Promoters
- Develop Your Strategy
- Engage Your Audience
- Listen and React
- Analyze Results
Just like any business or marketing strategy, you need to know what your destination is before you start driving. It is very easy to get overwhelmed and suffer from paralysis by analysis, and having a goal (or goals) will keep you focused on the task at hand.
The easy trap to fall into is setting the following goals:
- I want to increase followers 100% (but what you really want is more followers who buy from you)
- I want to get 10,000 “likes” (but what you really want is the people who “like” you to buy from you)
- I want 2000 friends (but what you really want is customers)
- I want to increase site traffic by 5000 hits (but what you really want is hits which turn in to leads which turn into sales)
… and so on
While likes, hits and friends may be valuable and could possibly lead to a sale, they aren’t the same thing as a sale. Social media shouldn’t be expected to directly lead to increased sales. Instead, it can generate leads and conversions.
I suggest goals that will actually affect your bottom line:
- I want to increase online leads 25% by capturing more emails
- I want to bring 100 more guests into the store every month by offering a new online promotion
- I want to get 10 new referrals a week from current clients
You get the idea. It is all about ROI, Return on the Investment. Once you have your goal or goals in mind, then it is time to target your audience.