With many businesses focusing their marketing online these days, in part due to the pandemic, the question as to the value of social media has once again become a hot discussion topic in my TAB groups.
According to a recent study with small business owners, a majority of small businesses (70%) invest in social media advertising, and yet many business owners are still considering if they should put their social media on pause in favour of other small business initiatives.
Social media success is defined by you and your expectations and intentions. It is often the case that owners have unrealistic expectations or have not created a social media KPI and are then disappointed when their posts do not receive engagement and/or leads.
As I have shared several times, before taking on any marketing initiative make sure you understand why you are unique and who is your target audience. For example, it is not realistic for a B2B business to post on Facebook once a week and expect engagement or even leads. Facebook does not target B2B business.
If you haven’t already, please take this opportunity to consider why your social media presence still matters to the growth and relevance of your company.
1: Choose the Right Platform
Social media is not a “one size fits all”, so before you decide to be on all social platforms, consider who your customer is in terms of age, location, gender, and job title/position. These are all critical factors that will help you decide the platform that is right for your business. Generally, Facebook, Insta and TikTok are aimed at consumers and ideal for high volume retail-type products and services. If your product or service is used by a consumer, these are the platforms for you. You will need to decide on content and frequency and analytics. However, if you are selling to other businesses, you are best to post on LinkedIn and YouTube and Twitter. Sometimes there can be a bit of crossover between B2C and B2B social platforms in terms of sponsoring influencers or Pay-Per-Click advertising, but these are the exception rather than the norm.
2: Set Expectations
As business owners, we all know you can’t be successful unless you know what success means to you. The same applies to social. Are you looking to increase brand awareness, or build leads, or make connections, or communicate relevant business news? If you want leads on social, how are you measuring these leads? To some owners, a lead is simply an engagement (like, share, comment), to others it’s web traffic, while to others it is the completion of a website form on a landing page linked to each post. Think about what outcome you expect and make sure you are measuring it.
We all know content is king. If you give your audience what it wants through relevant content they will want to stick around or return. So, who is writing or designing your social content? Does it all look the same, written professionally, posted with the same frequency? Nothing is more unprofessional looking than visiting a site and seeing they have not posted for over a week. In the world of social media, that is a lifetime! I suggest creating a social media posting plan, perhaps a month at a time, or every quarter. Then you can develop the content, gather images and post with frequency. In fact, if you use Hootsuite, you can schedule your posts up to a month at a time. When you post quality, valuable content with the same consistency, that’s how you build growth, followers, engagement and leads. By simply having active social media profiles, you’re doing your business a favour as it increases its visibility through search result pages.
Whether you hire a marketing agency to take care of your social media or utilize your internal staff, social media remains a valuable marketing and communication tool for your business and helps to keep you a step ahead of your competitors.