When business owners complain that their social media efforts aren't paying off and they just aren't seeing a return in their investment of time, it’s usually because they’re using the Jackson Pollack approach to social. They’re simply “flinging” paint on a canvas. There’s no goal behind what they’re doing. It’s random. That approach may create beautiful art, but it rarely works for business.
Being on social media isn't enough just as you don’t become a professional ball player just by walking into a stadium. There’s hard work involved and there are things you need to do to set the foundation for using social media efficiently in your business.
Stop wasting time and start seeing a return on investment in social media by using these tips.
How to Accomplish Your Business Goals on Social Media
Whether you are brand new to social media for business or you've been doing it for a while and you're just not seeing the results you want, changing these simple things can mean a much larger return on investment for you.
1. Don't waste your time on sites that are popular. Instead, figure out the social media sites your ideal audience uses most and be present on those.
2. Create a social media mission statement. What are you doing on social media for your business? Why are you there? Are you helping customers make an educated buying decision? Are you looking to differentiate yourself in the marketplace? Or is your goal something like establishing a fun culture so that you become an employer of choice? Whatever your goal is for your social media interactions, create a statement that illustrates this and can be clearly conveyed to your staff. Then it will be easy to differentiate a good post from a lackluster one by asking does this bring me closer to my goal?
3. Learn by what competitors are doing. You should know what your local and global competition are doing on social media. It's also a good idea to watch brands outside of your industry to see if you can apply anything they’re doing to improve your business and social media work.
4. Prepare for a marathon. Recently I saw an interview with Simon Sinek in which he talked about the daily little things that make people fall in love with you. There's not a moment in time where someone can definitively say this was what made me fall for that person. It's a cumulative effect. The same is true of social media for business. It's all of the little interactions and conversations you have with people that will begin to mean something to them. It generally won't be just one blog post (even if it starts that way). One awesome blog post might catch their eye but it won't win them over through the end of time. You will make constant investments in the relationship and posting good content consistently that will move them to become more loyal.
5. Create a strategy around how you will reach people. You may post great content but if nobody sees it you won't get shares and likes. There are a number of ways you can reach people. You can pay to do it directly on social media sites by running ads, you can exchange favors with friends and encourage your staff to share your content, you can introduce yourself to industry influencers who may share your content, and you can produce content for other bloggers, associations, convention and visitors bureaus, and other organizations that can get you in front of your ideal customer. You need people to share your content so create a strategy around how you will ensure people see it first.
If you go out on the social media with the idea that posting good content will get you a huge audience, you’re betting your business future on winning the lottery. First, you need to build a strong foundation and plan behind how you will best use your time in the most efficient manner. When you do this, your social media spend from a resource and time perspective will start to show a lot more return on your investment.
Christina R. Metcalf (formerly Green) is a marketer who enjoys using the power of story and refuses to believe meaningful copy can be written by bots. She helps chamber and small business professionals find the right words when they don’t have the time or interest to do so.
Christina hates exclamation points and loves road trips. Say hi on Twitter or reach out on Facebook.
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