Promoting your business on Social Media takes continued commitment. It’s not a houseplant that you can water once a week and forget about it. It’s a family pet that needs daily feeding and attention.
The key concern I hear from small businesses about maintaining a presence on social media is the level of commitment it takes for minimal return on the investment. Frequently, this is because they’ve taken the shotgun approach to Social Media.
What is the Social Media Shotgun Approach?
This approach is when a company set ups social media profiles on all of the key networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr. Then starts posting content to all of them without a clear plan or goal in mind.
Initially this may seem like a good approach, but this Social Media model is hard to maintain. Before long, businesses start to feel overwhelmed by the amount of effort it takes to maintain their networks.
Gradually, social media activity transitions from being the coddled family pet into that thirsty houseplant drying up on the windowsill.
Even if you’ve gone down this shotgun road already, all is not lost.
Focus on your Audience
Social Media is all about your Audience. Who are they? Where are they? How should you engage with them? Nail down this three-point plan and you have an approach that is manageable on a long-term basis:
1. Who are your Audience?
If you don’t already know who your core audience is, take a step back to identify them. Demographics can be as simple or complex as you want to make them. Starting out with basic criteria like Male vs Female and Age demographics is a simple beginning that can be expanded over time.
2. Where are your Audience?
Once you identified your core audience, you can assess which social media networks they spend their time on. Each network attracts a different audience mix. Once you’ve identified who your audience is, you can focus your activity in the right place.
If you’re trying to establish your thought leadership around retirement plans, you’re probably not going to get much engagement on Instagram, but if you head over to Google+ you may have more success.
By focusing your Social Media efforts in the right place, you’re creating a targeted approach for your activity that should lead to a greater return on your investment of time and effort.
3. Engage with your Audience
It’s not called Social Media for nothing, and your activity on any of the networks shouldn’t be something you do “at” your audience, but “with them” to create and build a community. One of the key elements of engaging with your audience is listening to them. What questions are they asking? What conversations are they having? By understanding their challenges and needs, you can better determine how your product or service can be the solution.
Don’t just settle for growing your followers. Once you have them, you should engage with them on a regular basis. Leave comments for them. Like, +1, retweet and share their social media activity. In return you should see the level of engagement for your activity increase.
The best way to measure the success of your social media activity is to track the level of engagement. You can do this as a weekly or monthly level, and see what type of content is resonating with your audience.
When the content you’re posting is receiving interest and engagement, suddenly the time and monetary investment you’re making in your social media networks becomes targeted on results and very beneficial.
Social Media is not a quick-win process. It’s a slow steady journey that constantly needs monitoring and adjusting. Are you ready for the responsibility?
Do you have a Social Media Strategy?
Are you looking to achieve more with your Social Media activities?