You Can Have Small Business Social Media Success- Here’s How
If you’re tired of spinning your wheels in the social media landscape, if you’re confused about how to make it work for your business, if you think you have to sign up everywhere.
Take a deep breath.
You don’t have to do that.
I know, it’s a radical idea but frankly, if you’re a super small business (less than 5 people), you don’t have the time to manage Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, et. al. You may not have the time if you have 50 people or less.
Just put the brakes on for a minute and let’s get real about this.
Wouldn’t you rather do a great job on one or two and put the others on the back burner for now?
Let’s look at easy ways you can actually get a foothold in the social media landscape and start creating business.
Does that sound good?
I thought so.
Make sure you’re using the platform that you feel most comfortable with AND where your customers hang out. B2B software sales people are better off on LinkedIn than Instagram.
Yet, if you’re a local oil company, you’re losing money by not figuring out how to make Facebook work for you.
If you’re not sure where your clients hang out online, look up your top clients and see where they’re spending time. Then, be there.
Next, look at how your competition is using their social media tool(s) of choice. Do they look like they know what they’re doing or are they flying by the seat of their pants?
Jot down notes on anyone (business or personal) who you think “does social well”. What do you like about what they do?
Make sure your profiles are set up correctly. Please don’t use a personal Facebook profile for your business page –when Suzy’s Flowers requests to be my “friend”, they just told me they don’t know what they’re doing.
You’ll also get shut down by Facebook.
You can use your personal profile to network and make occasional business references or posts AND you can use your Business Page to run ads and share information.
On LinkedIn, you need a professional looking picture. The goal is to make connections, not look like you’re in the Witness Protection Program. Put up a picture please.
Now that you know where your customers are, you need a plan for posting AND your goals.
Maybe your initial goal is to accumulate “likes”. If you don’t have many, that’s ok. You can focus on building those for the first month so. Boost posts, run ads (If you’re on Facebook) and network like crazy to build up your audience. Then, give them reasons to visit your website. An intriguing blog title can work.
Do you want to bring them back to your website and have them sign up for your fabulous lead generating “Special Report” on xyz which in turn adds them to your newsletter system?
“For every $1 spent, $44.25 is the average return on email marketing investment.” (Experian)
Now, that’s a smart use of social media.
Here’s another example.
A couple of years ago, I worked with a client whose goal was to get the email address of every mom in 5 mile radius. We used an app to give away a coupon for free ice cream (he had an ice cream shop). In exchange for the coupon, the mom gave her email address. We ran Facebook ads to promote the giveaway.
The result? 297 new email addresses he could now market to plus, dozens of new potential customers who didn’t know about him before.
Now that you know where your clients hang out, your accounts look professional and you have a goal or two, you get to plan content to achieve your goals.
This part sends many a professional quaking in their proverbial boots. “What do I post?” they ask in confusion.
For me, this is the fun part. I love working with businesses to help them figure out a plan.
Brainstorm topic ideas. What do your clients want to know? What are the questions you answer over and over? What type of holiday/seasonal or local theme can you riff on in your posts?
Write down: “How to…” and fill in the blank. “5 Ways…”, etc. these will help get your creative juices flowing.
Plan out a few days (or weeks) of content at a time, especially if you plan to incorporate blogging.
You’ll also need to decide (if you haven’t already) who will be in charge of handling the posting and monitoring of the accounts.
Please don’t do your company a disservice and choose the youngest person in the room just because of their age. If you wouldn’t send them on your behalf to a networking event, don’t put them in charge of your social.
Once you lay this foundation, it’s up to you to keep a consistency going. Like anything, it takes a while to gain traction. Pay attention to what works and don’t be afraid to mix up your posting content. If after six months of regular posting and you’re still not getting anywhere, you may need a revamp.
So there you go, seven steps you start today to get your 2015 social media program off to a roaring success.