Do you have a Social Media Strategy for your business? There is no point in jumping onto the Social Media bandwagon just because everyone else seems to be doing. Too many small businesses are opening up Twitter Account, LinkedIn Profiles and Facebook Pages without a clear idea of what they want to get out of Social Media.
One of the most precious resources for small business owners is time. If you don’t know what you want to get through using Social Media, you could be wasting your time.
Social Media can have a great impact on your business. Customers who engage on Social Media spend on average 20% to 40% more than customers who aren’t engaged. The average cost per lead generated by social media is less than those generated by traditional marketing methods. Yet, if you go into Social Media without a clear strategy, you could be spending a lot of time, doing the wrong activity in the wrong place.
Step 1: What is your biggest priority for your business?
- Is it to build awareness?
- To increase sales?
- To build loyalty?
For many small businesses, your priority will be to gain more awareness. More awareness will generate more sales, but your focus should be on generating awareness. Social Media is not free advertising space to bombard your readers with sales pitches and marketing messages. Most small business will achieve greater success by not selling directly, but by paying attention to what their customers want and giving it to them.
Step 2: Have a clear idea of what your business is about
There is no point in in embarking on Social Media if you haven’t got the fundamentals of branding your business sorted. And branding doesn’t mean having a fancy logo. Can you explain clearly to a stranger what your business is about in 1 sentence?
At a networking meeting, you get a minute or two to introduce your business. Have you sometimes been puzzled about what someone does even after they have spent a minute talking about their business? Using Social Media, you only get 120-160 characters!!
That is how many characters you get in a LinkedIn Headline or your Twitter bio.
Your headline or bio may be the only thing people ever know about you and they might decide whether they follow you or not or look at your Profile based on those few words.
How clear are you about who you are, who you help and how you help them? If you can’t express it clearly, how do you expect other people to know?
Step 3: Know your audience
Who are you ideal customers and where are they hanging out? There is no point in using LinkedIn if your customers are hanging out on Facebook, just because you are comfortable using the platform.
Knowing who your customers are and doing some research into which Social Media platforms they are most likely to use, will save you time in the long run. If you have a very niche product, your customers may be hanging out in a particular forum or LinkedIn Group. It is worth finding out where they are likely to be. You need to be where your customers are. Your aim should be to build a quality network of the right people for your business.
Step 4: Know what you want to achieve through Social Media
- What does success look like for your business? Is it web enquiries, the telephone ringing or actual visitor to your business?
- If you want to build awareness, how are you going to measure awareness? What does having more awareness mean to your business? How will you know? Be specific.
- Work out how you are going to measure success using Social Media, it will be different things for different businesses
- Decide what type of content you are going to create or share. Work out how you are going to gather ideas for content and how often you are going to post.
Step 5: Commit the time and take action
To be successful on Social Media, you need to be consistent. Social Media is a marathon not a sprint, little and often will pay higher dividends than a burst of activity and then nothing. If you consider that Social Media can be a marketing , public relations and customer relationship tool for your business , isn’t it worth committing time to doing it well? I suggest to people that I am working with to commit at least fifteen minutes a day. Most people can find fifteen minutes a day if they believe it is important. Make Social Media your daily habit.
It is always worthwhile to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?
Nicky Kriel: Social media coach, trainer and speaker
Nicky Kriel, Guildford’s Social Media Queen, is passionate about empowering small business owners to use Social Media to grow their business. Her background is in Marketing and Sales and she is a Master NLP Practitioner. As a Communication Coach, she helps people remember the “Social” aspect of Social Networking: It is not all about tools and technology, but about people and human relations. Aside from her private coaching clients, she runs Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook workshops for business owners and bespoke courses for SMEs. Nicky really enjoys helping business owners to level the playing field by harnessing the power of social media.
Like her Social Media for Newbies Page on Facebook and follow @Nickykriel on twitter
archit on January 18th 2012 in Work