Does your business “do” social media and digital marketing? If so, do you know what your return on investment is? If you’ve not got to grips with making social media work for your business, you’re not alone. Maybe you don’t know where to start, you lack the skills or the time, you tried it once and it didn’t work, or you just don’t really see the benefits for your business. Well, here are some statistics for you that may make you want to try again!
Globally, there are a staggering 3.2 billion internet users. About 50% of time spent on mobile devices is on Facebook. But it’s not just about the number of users, it’s the frequency with which the modern day user uses the internet, and the confidence with which they buy online. Things are changing all the time, and as a business owner, you need to keep up, or you’ll miss out!
It’s safe to say Social Media is here to stay, and its use is only going to grow as the availability of cheap technology increases, so it’s up to you to make it work for your business. But before you dive in, there are a few caveats:
- The purpose of marketing is to get more leads – i.e. people who may go on to buy from you. Social media marketing is no different, so don’t lose sight of the end game! Marketing should be an investment, not a cost – for every £ you spend, you should get more £s back through increased sales!
- However, don’t forget that people don’t like being sold to. Successful social media marketing is a delicate balance of providing useful content and promoting your business. Constantly posting “salesey” content will turn people off.
- You will be judged by what’s online regarding your business, so make sure it’s all good! There are many examples of companies who have failed spectacularly with social media and have thereby damaged their reputation. Don’t become one of them!
With the above in mind, here are my Top 10 Tips for Social Media Success:
- Be Strategic – Your Social Media Marketing Strategy (yes, you need one of those) should be part of an overall, integrated marketing plan, not something that is done in isolation. This way you’ll ensure that there’s a level of consistency in the messages being sent out about your products, your brand and your business culture.
- Be Clear on the Process – As for any marketing strategy, you need to be clear about the results you want from your social media marketing, who your target audience are and what process you’re going to use to engage with them, once they’ve shown an interest. This will influence what, where and how often you post and what tools you’ll need (e.g. landing pages, CRM, e-mail marketing system etc.)
- Be Consistent – There’s no point in setting up a Twitter account, a Facebook page, a YouTube channel and a LinkedIn profile if you only post something every once in a while, when it crosses your mind that you ought to! The frequency of posting will depend on the channels you’re using, but you should make a schedule and stick to it – that potentially means a lot of content to produce!
- Be Prepared to Invest – Following on from the prior point, don’t underestimate the resources needed to do this properly, both in time and money. You’ll need a budget if you intend to do online advertising campaigns, and if you don’t have a creative marketing person in house to assist you with the content, you may need to outsource to a digital marketing expert.
- Be Different – It’s a crowded market place, so to stand out from the crowd, you need to consider what it is you do that makes you different, and focus on that! Being quirky or funny can be a good way to catch people’s attention and get them to share your posts, but be careful it doesn’t backfire – some people do seem to get offended very easily!
- Be Visual – Using pictures and short videos in your posts will increase the chances of your audience engaging with you. Photos get the most shares on Facebook and the most re-tweets on Twitter, and are a great way of getting your message across simply! This is especially useful for businesses that are selling something tangible, or can post “before and after” pictures.
- Be Engaged – Social media isn’t a one way street, but a great way to get to know people and build brand awareness, loyalty and even a community! So make sure you follow others, comment, like, share, re-tweet, and thank people for their interest in your business.
- Be Aware of the Competition – Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing on social media so you’ll get an idea of what works and what doesn’t, and see if there is anything you can adapt to use for your own social media strategy – this doesn’t mean copying what they do, but drawing on good practice.
- Be Master of the Web – Don’t forget about your website, as this is effectively the shop window for your business. If you are going to use social media to send people to your website, you need to make sure it looks professional and engaging, is responsive to mobile devices, has regular new content and features a strong call to action.
- Be Analytical – You must test and measure the results you are getting from your social media strategy, because what gets measured, gets improved. Analytics, insights and reporting tools are available on social media channels, so use them to see what is working and what isn’t, and refine your approach accordingly.
As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when developing your social media strategy and putting it into practice, and getting it right can take time. However, businesses that do get it right can tap into a huge market and potentially boost their profits from a fairly modest investment.
So take Action and get social – and if you need some help, we run a free monthly Social Media and Digital Marketing Seminar – this is a great place to start if you want to make social media work for your business. To book your place, just click here. We’d love to meet you!