Social media is not the perfect solution for every business. In fact, social media can be a time waster and can be counter-productive for your business when you don’t have the right goals in place.
I am not talking about goals as it relates to likes, followers and sales. I am talking about a strategic approach to help you meet your business objectives.
“G” — Get Clear on Your Business Model
All too often, people approach social media without any clarity on what their business is about. They put the cart before the horse and then wonder why they are not getting results.
Take some time and get clear on your business model.
- How do you make money?
- What are your sales goals?
- How do people buy your product or service?
- What is your brand and company culture?
Once you figure those pieces out, your marketing approach will be much easier to tackle because your business model drives all of your marketing activity.
“O” — Own Content Creation and Curation
Content is how people find you. People type words into Google to search for their needs and when those words align with the content on your website, it leads them to you. Content serves to attract people to you and should give them a reason to continue to consume the content you share — whether it is on your website or on your social media channels.
Every business owner needs to be responsible for the content they create. Whether you write or you integrate video or audio, you need to take ownership for creating content if you expect online marketing to drive traffic to your place of business.
Without compelling and useful content, it will be difficult to market your business through social media in today’s market.
“A” — Attract the Right Audience
When you know who your customer really is, you can create content to serve them. When you don’t know who your audience is, you will struggle to come up with content that is useful for them.
When I was recently speaking at Social Media Camp, I felt a little intimidated by the incredible list of speakers. I wondered if my message was “good enough.” Then, I had an epiphany — my keynote wasn’t for the other speakers, it was for the audience.
Create content (and talks) that serve and help your audience. When you are not clear on who this is and what their needs are, it’s hard to do. When you know your audience, you can easily attract them because you get who they are, what challenges they face and how to help them.#SocialMedia allows you to grow your community and build relationships - use these GOALS to do it. Click To Tweet
“L” — Leverage Social Media
People share openly on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. When you read someone’s bio, and their social media newsfeed, you can quickly get a feel for who they are and what their needs might be.
These platforms provide you with a space to share your content organically and attract an audience without spending marketing dollars. Or, you can take advantage of paid advertising options to reach a deeper, more targeted segment of people but, as I mentioned earlier, you first need to know who they are.
“S” — Show up, Serve and the Sales Follow
If you want social media to work, you need to do the work. That means showing up, sharing and engaging in conversations with others. If you don’t show up and engage with others regularly, the community will forget who you are and you will miss opportunities.
The worst thing you can do is start a social media presence and then abandon it. This can be more damaging than helpful to your business.
Recently, I tried to do business with someone new. I sent them a message via their Facebook page and it took them over a week to respond. Between the time I reached out and when they responded, someone else helped solve my problem. This business owner lost over $100 in sales and potential future business because they didn’t show up and monitor their customer inquiries. Don’t let that be you.
Show up regularly and build relationships.Serve others through the valuable content you create and share - sales will follow more naturally. Click To Tweet
Take a look at your own social media efforts and compare it to the five pieces I shared above. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Where can I improve my online presence?
- How might I be able to increase my engagement in a way that feels natural and effortless?
After thinking about these questions, I want to hear from you: what is the single, biggest change that you’ll make, starting today, when it comes to social media? Leave it as a comment below.
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This post was inspired by a talk at Social Media Camp in 2015. A story came out of that experience that I’m including it here, as it has a really valuable lesson…
He said, “It’s gimmicky, mothery and wifey. I wouldn’t do it.”
His comment made me a little uncomfortable — I wondered if what I had planned and perfected for my talk at Social Media Camp was a bad idea.
Being the only female at the conference who was delivering a keynote, I wanted to leave the audience with something memorable and meaningful — a way to help them think about how they could approach social media.
You see, social media is confusing for many people.
And, so is folding a fitted sheet.
I have developed a system for each and I felt that I could close my presentation by sharing with the audience a fitted sheet folding demonstration.
Instead of listening to my naysayer, I listened to my gut and it worked out beautifully.
The sheet folding demonstration showed the audience that even the most difficult tasks can be easily achieved when you have a system for them.