Your business is growing, but not quite as fast as you’d hoped. So, you’ve probably thought about giving it a boost with social media marketing.
Great! You are not alone. Social media can increase your business value. “Advertisers worldwide will spend $23.68 billion on paid media to reach consumers on social networks this year, according to new figures from eMarketer, a 33.5% increase from 2014 (eMarketer).”
You can picture it now. No problem. You’re ready to post an update on your Facebook Brand page, then Tweet and share it on LinkedIn. Maybe Pinterest too while you are at it. That should cover all the bases. Right?
Well… not exactly. There are way too many things wrong with this scenario. Let’s briefly address them.
Social Media Strategy
Right up there, in your social media world domination plan, is a social media strategy. All social media platforms are not created equally. Once you understand this, you will also understand the need for a different strategy for each platform.
Every social network attracts very different audiences and how they interact with your business will vary too. With this in mind, start creating a social strategy by identifying your target audience on each platform. Even things like the wording, number of characters and images in your posts can make a difference in how your message will be received.
Strategy is important because it “allows you to be intentional and strategic, giving you focus and purpose” meaning “you’re productive, not busy. You implement a daily plan that propels your business forward.” Best of all, “strategy focuses on telling your story, encouraging deeper, more significant relationships (Buffer).”
Social Content is King
A significant part of your social media strategy is content. What you say is as critical as when you say it and to whom. Social media content needs to be fresh and create value for the reader. Whatever you do, make sure your sales-focused posts are kept to a minimum while your informative and interactive posts engage and attract new and loyal followers.
Social Media Calendars Are Essential
You forgot a very important thing, in all your hopes for social media success—the social media calendar. As HootSuite writer Olsy Sorokina explains, “Creating a plan, a template, or a calendar simply means that you make all the necessary information available to all the relevant stakeholders in one place. It takes in all your channels and resources and organizes them in a way that makes it easy to access information you need when you need it.”
For starters, consider the times of the day, week and month that your target audience is engaged in social media activities and schedule your activities to coincide as much as possible.
“Just because it only takes a few seconds to read a tweet doesn’t mean it will only take a few seconds to write it. In fact, crafting the perfect social message often takes multiple steps, people, and days.”— Sprout Social
Your Work Doesn’t End Here
One of the biggest social media mistakes that small business make is a lack of follow-up. You can’t simply post and walk away. The purpose of social media is to engage other people, after all.
If there are comments, positive or negative, take note of them and make time to respond. A lack of response or time lag can turn off fans and once gone, they are unlikely to come back.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Orzala Quddusi is the founder and CEO of Make it Happen Services, a Canadian business that specializes in helping small business owners grow their business with the right systems; specifically online and offline marketing systems. Connect with @makeithappenser on Twitter.
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