It’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole when using social media for your business. It can be a truly counter-productive use of time if you don’t have clear goals in mind.
I am not talking about goals as it relates to likes, followers and sales. Likes don’t pay your mortgage! I am talking about a strategic approach to social media to help you meet your business objectives.
G — Get Clear on Your Business Model
It’s not uncommon for people to 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 pulling in any results. Take some time and get clear on your business model by answering these four questions:
1.) How do you make money?
2.) What are your sales goals?
3.) How do people buy your product or service?
4.) What is your brand and company culture?
Once you figure those pieces out, your marketing approach (social media or otherwise) will be much easier to tackle because your business model is supposed to drive all of your marketing activity.
O — Own Your 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 — both on your website and 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. This does not have to be overly complicated either, I use a 2-step content creation strategy in my own business.
A — Audience Attraction
When you know who your audience 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 resonates.
When I spoke at Social Media Camp in 2015, 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. I didn’t need to create content for the other speakers, I needed to create content for the audience attending Social Media Camp.
Create content that serves and helps your audience. If you’re not clear on who this is and what their needs are, it’s incredibly hard to do. When you know your audience, you can easily attract them because you get who they are, what challenges they face, and – most importantly – how to solve their pain points.
L — Leverage Social Media Data
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. Using the ad tools offered on all the social media networks will generally allow you to target your ad dollars more directly. Facebook, for example, lets you dive deep on demographics, locations, interests, and even other people’s audiences as well as your own.
S — Show up and Serve…the Sales Will 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.
One of the worst things you can do is start a social media presence and then abandon it. This can be more damaging than not having a social media presence at all.
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 a quick and easy sale and a whole lot of 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.
Know Your Social Media GOALS
Take a look at your own social media efforts and compare it to the five pieces I shared above. Plus, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Where can I improve my online presence?
2. How might I be able to increase my engagement in a way that feels natural and effortless?
Originally posted by Lisa Larter on The Huffington Post