Seven steps for leveraging social media marketing
Investing in marketing campaigns can be a nerve-wracking decision for many small and medium sized businesses. CEOs and marketing directors know that when you have limited resources, you must be strategic with your budget, and every marketing investment has to pay off. This is why social media campaigns tend to be the first thing cut. Although free to setup, they take valuable staff resources to manage, and the ROI is not as apparent. While launching a social media campaign likely won’t bring leads and sales pouring in your door tomorrow, when you implement a few social media success strategies, you’ll find it much easier to drive a positive ROI with social that benefits your organization for years to come.
1. Reframe your outlook.
Many businesses fail at social media because they think it means Facebook or Twitter. Social media is actually much more than that. Rather than putting labels on social media, think of it as a concept. Social media is actually about engaging with your audience in a broader way. Traditional media has always been one directional—you place an ad, the customer calls, and you have an offline private conversation. Social media is the first time where businesses can interact with their community in a public online forum. That openness and transparency is scary to many business owners, but it’s exactly what customers crave.
2. Start small.
As you delve into social media, begin with the platforms that can make the biggest difference for you. Usually, this means starting with the three main platforms that can drive results and interaction: Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Depending on your business model, there may be others; however, if you are just getting started, this is a great set to begin with.
- Facebook: Facebook has a high adoption rate and people of all ages spend time on this social media platform, thus giving you great exposure.
- LinkedIn: While LinkedIn is not consumer-focused like Facebook, it can help with B2B sales, vendor connections, recruiting, and other business needs.
- YouTube: Although a bigger investment than the others, consumers resonate with different types of content, and YouTube videos tend to pay off in the long term.
3. Don’t be boring.
Guess what … your brand, services, mission statement, and corporate values are boring. Although they may represent you as a company, they don’t represent the human element and personality of your team. Social media is about not only building a community, but also engaging your customers. Doing that requires that you show some serious personality.