Using social media to market your business is not easy. There’s a science and strategy behind it. Fortunately, there are many of us who are here to help you with that so you can do what you do best – run your business.
I could write all day along about why you need social media and what to expect, so this time around I gathered a few of my friends who work in social media marketing and asked them to answer this one question…
What is one thing you want businesses to know about using social media to market their business?
Here is what they want YOU to know.
Dominique Paye, Digital Media Director, The Southern C
“Establishing your following and achieving results will not happen overnight. View this as a long-term strategy. Understand that there is not only a ton of competition, but the additional challenge of consumer overload means you will have to think deeply to show what really distinguishes your brand or business. This is the only way to grow an engaged audience and, in the long run, see results.”
Jonathan Payne, Founder and Digital Marketing Consultant, My Social Game Plan
“One major thing businesses need to tackle before jumping into social media is whether they truly have the resources and budgets to support both an organic and paid social presence. The reality is it’s far more difficult to grow an organic community today than it was just two or three years ago. With the exponential increases in content publishing and competition for attention, combined with the strict algorithms we’re seeing across the big social platforms, you’re going to need ad support behind your brand to grow a community.
Businesses need to make this determination up front, before they sign any agency contracts or start allocating internal resources: do we have the budget to consistently produce exceptional, organic social media content at a high volume, or should we produce much less organic content and shift more dollars toward paid advertising?”
Sara Nickleberry, Social Media Consultant and Owner, Social with Sara
“You need a social media marketing strategy!
When you’re marketing your business on social media, don’t try to “wing it”, you need a plan! A strategy is mandatory for social media marketing success. Start with your goals and objectives in mind. What are you trying to accomplish? You could be trying to build brand awareness, drive traffic to your website or increase your email sign ups, but do define your goal and make it measurable. Who are you targeting? Where do they hang out online? What social platforms do they use? Keep in mind, people don’t like to be sold to on social media. So think about what value you can provide to your audience to inform and entertain. What makes you unique and sets you apart from your competition? Think about the type of content you will create and how often you will post and promote your content. Understand that you will need to analyze your efforts to see what’s working and what’s not, so you can adjust your plan and improve your efforts.”
Erin Phillips, Social Media Consultant and Owner, Pinckney Palm
“It’s necessary. With the average person spending an hour and 40 minutes on social per day (and this stat is growing!) you don’t want to miss out on your opportunity to get in front of your target audience. Find out which platform they’re spending the most time on and create some compelling content for that one platform. Don’t spread yourself too thin! You got this!.”
Brooke Sellas, Founder & CEO, B Squared Media
“Based on my experience, one of the most (if not THE most) important things businesses must know when using social media to market their business is WHY.
WHY are you using social media to market your business? HOW will you tie your social media efforts to business outcomes, key performances indicators (KPIs), and return on investment (ROI).
When we get started with clients, we always determine KPIs during our launch meeting because effective social media KPIs are crucial to determining progress towards their/our goals. We also use a spreadsheet or “scorecard” to track these KPIs month-over-month, year-over-year.
Keep in mind that every brand’s KPIs are different … some companies want to measure follower growth and shares, while others prefer to measure click-through-rates, social traffic, and leads from social. While there’s no “one-size-fits-all” KPI, businesses using social media to market their business should know what their WHY, determine their KPIs and business goals, and track those things diligently.”
Jenn Herman, Social Media Strategist, Jenn’s Trends
“The biggest thing I want business owners to understand is that social media is not an overnight rocket ship to success. Social media is about building relationships and cultivating trust in your customers. It can take months, or even years, to drive conversions. But, when done effectively, social media does foster that trust and loyalty that builds long term customers.”
If you’ve read this blog for any period of time, these answers should not come as a surprise because they all echo what I’ve been writing about.
To sum it up, what should you expect when using social media to market your business?
- You need to be in it for the long-term.
- Expect to invest in social media advertising.
- You need to have a plan/strategy.
- Your business is now expected to be there.
- You have to know WHY you are using it to begin with.
- Social media is about building relationships and establishing trust.
Has anything surprised you with using social media to market your business? Is there anything you are struggling with? Share below and let us know!