Social media can seem very time consuming when you are getting started with it either for personal use or even more with business use. As a business owner it is so important that you have an online presence, it is your reputation these days. If someone is searching for you, and they can’t find you online, then you may be losing customers and business. If you are just getting started with social media you need to make sure you have a strategy behind what you are doing. Here are a few tips to help with your social media strategy:
# 1 – Know what your goals are going to be
When you are starting to market online with social media you need to spend some time figuring out what you want to put into social media and what you want to get out of social media. Really take time to write these things down. Be realistic, most people think since you have a Facebook page that your phone is going to start ringing off the hook that is not the case! Sometimes your business and your personal life on social media can easily blend and distract you from your real goals, so it’s important to know where you are spending your time, and what tactics work to earn you more business. Figure out how much time you are willing to spend each day to put into social media, we usually recommend an hour a day. Use a time block that will work for you and your schedule. For example, if your goal is to use Facebook to drive more traffic and leads to your blog then make sure you are blogging frequently so people want to read your blog!
# 2 – Building an online Brand- Know your audience.
For some people and companies, it can take some time to really understand what your brad is. Having a clear picture on what your brand is and who the audience is, and then you can choose the right social media platforms, that you feel would be the best for your brand. Remember, if you can’t be on a platform, and do it consistently well against your local competitors, figure out which ones you will choose to focus on.
# 3 – Measuring your success – ROI
When it comes to analyzing your return and success, this is one area that is peoples least favorite and most often overlooked. The ONLY way you will be able to see if social media and Internet marketing are working for you, is to be analyzing it! From Search Engine Optimization (SEO), blog traffic, referrals, mobile and social media, having a firm understanding of how and when you reach your audience is the best way to know what social media efforts are paying off. Which content is popular? What gets shared the most? Do you ask how the callers on the other end of the phone how they found you? (A lot of companies DO NOT ask where their customers are coming from. CRAZY!)
Here are some basic steps:
- Set up Google Analytics on your blog. Take one to two hours familiarizing yourself with the various free tools, real-time traffic, social referrals, and mobile activity.
- Do research on hot keywords for your business through Google Here is a great tool for Twitter on hashtags http://tagboard.com/
- Use social media measuring tools like Hootsuite to help you understand who is retweeting you and following you.
- Did traffic increase when you started doing more posts on LinkedIn? Did your use of Pinterest for 30 days increase views of your website? Get your coffee, a quiet morning once a week, and analyze. You’ll be doing more for your business than more than 80 percent of marketers on social media!
# 4 – When is it time to try something new?
The one thing you can always count on with social media is it is constantly changing, as are the consumers who interact with them. Be watchful of these trends, not the ones of those you compete with in the industry. It’s very common as an industry to follow our crowd of opinions and do something because someone said it was a groundbreaking new technology, or suddenly everyone started doing it, or a report came out saying all the popular people in the industry were doing it. These are NOT the metrics upon which to decide a social media or marketing strategy.
Be cautious; be analytical; try new things; have fun; be yourself; build your brand voice; and measure your success!