Are you not seeing any results from your Social Media Marketing efforts? If that’s the case then something is wrong and we need to dissect your Social Media Marketing Plan in order to find out what. What’s that? You don’t have a Social Media Marketing Plan? Hmm… That’s definitely part of the problem, but there may be other contributing factors.
Within the online communities that we frequent here at Catalyst, we often hear stories from small business owners who are not seeing a return-on-social-media. After a little investigation, the problems that these organizations face usually result from similar missteps. In this article we will review a few critical mistakes that many small business owners make when getting started with Social Media Marketing. If you feel like you’re not getting the most out of your Social Media efforts be sure to read this article carefully to determine if you have fallen into any of these traps. If you have, don’t be ashamed or give up on Social Media. Social Media Marketing can be an extremely powerful marketing strategy for your small business. The following mistakes can be overcome and you’ll be happy that you spent the time to understand what you’re doing wrong and what you can do to fix it.
No Social Media Marketing Plan
In anything that you do, planning is a critical first step. You wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint, right? You wouldn’t travel across the country without a map and a planned route (well, hopefully you wouldn’t), right? You wouldn’t purchase a print ad in a local magazine without first having a plan for what the creative will look like, what the message will be, etc., right? Then there is no reason why you should jump into Social Media Marketing without first developing a Social Media Marketing Plan.
A proper Social Media Marketing Plan lays out your Goals, Strategic Imperatives, and Marketing Tactics. The Marketing Tactics should alight to your Strategic Imperatives and your Strategic Imperatives should be designed to achieve your Goals. All of your Social Media Marketing efforts should be carefully planned. You want to know where your target audience is spending their time online so that you can choose the proper online tools to use. You want to develop your content marketing strategy. You also want to consider how you will promote your content to your audience. The planning process will allow you to think through all of this and the result should be a Social Media Marketing Plan that will provide you with the best opportunity to succeed in your Social Media Marketing efforts.
How Do You Determine ROI for Social Media Marketing?
As part of your Social Media Marketing Plan, did you setup performance measures for each of your Social Media Marketing Tactics? Part of planning is setting clear objectives so that you’re able to measure success 3 months, 6 months, 12 months down the road. Without setting proper performance measures you’re unable to determine your return-on-investment for Social Media Marketing.
If one of your goals is to increase your mobile presence and your strategy is to utilize geo-location tools to drive mobile use then a possible marketing tactic might be to use foursquare to create a foursquare mayor special for your small business. With this being your plan, a reasonable performance measure might be:
- Drive 10 sales using the foursquare Mayor special discount within the first 3 months after the tactic launches
By setting up a performance measure prior to launching your Social Media Marketing tactic you’re now able to check your sales data 1 month, 2 months, and 3 months from launch to see how you’re tracking against your performance measure. At set times throughout the year (quarterly is usually recommended), you should come back to your Social Media Marketing Plan and see how you’re tracking against the performance measures that you setup. Based on your data, you may want to alter your performance measures moving forward (ie. if you’ve exceeded your yearly goals in 6 months, then ramp up your goals for the next six months).
If you have questions about how to properly setup performance measures for your Social Media Marketing tactics, please feel free to contact us.
The Number of Followers You Have Doesn’t Matter
Many small business owners are receiving the wrong advice when it comes to marketing automation tools and the importance of how many followers you have on Twitter and/or Facebook –> This Quantity over Quality approach is DEAD WRONG. In order to be successful with Social Media Marketing there are few shortcuts, and the quality of your relationships matter much more than the quantity (in most cases).
At first it seems to make sense that the more followers you have the better, but what does it matter if you have 100,000 followers if none of those followers are engaged in what you’re doing online? What if you have 0 comments on your Facebook wall or 0 retweets on Twitter? I guess those 100,000 followers don’t mean much then, right?
So there you go, if you’ve been using tools that automatically post Twitter tweets to Facebook or create content by collecting articles around the web and posting them to your blog then you’re not doing your small business any good. What you should be doing is taking time to create quality content for your blog… original content. You should be interacting with your followers. Getting to know them and their interests. This way you can have relevant discussions with them and create valuable and relevant content for them. By taking the QUALITY over quantity approach you’ll notice a HUGE difference in the success you have with Social Media Marketing.
Where’s the Engagement?
We briefly touched on engagement above, but it’s so critical that we need to dig deeper. Even if you have a Social Media Marketing Plan and you’re creating relevant content on your blog or YouTube channel, if you’re not engaging your audience around that content, then you’re not seeing the full positive effects of Social Media Marketing. Have you ever been to a Facebook page where all that’s posted are blog articles or links to a website? There’s no discussion going on, no comments or Likes, no contests or questions being asked… Those pages are almost worse than having no Social Media presence at all. For you to be successful with Social Media you must engage your audience in conversations.
Using your Facebook status to ask questions or having a ReTweet contest are great ways to drive engagement for your small business on Social Media. Simply thanking people who ReTweet your articles or leave comments on your blog is a great way to start building a relationship with a prospect. In order to keep your online community engaged, you first must be engaged in your Social Media efforts. That’s why many marketing automation tools don’t work. They allow you to be lazy with Social Media. You have to be active and you have to engage your audience. If you take the time to build real relationships with your online community you’ll see much better results from your Social Media Marketing efforts.
WTF! Social Media Marketing Isn’t Working for My Small Business
If you’ve been questioning the return-on-social-media lately hopefully this post was helpful. The majority of the time, the issues that small business owners have with Social Media Marketing can be summed up within the four categories above. If you’re doing everything that you’re supposed to be doing, but still aren’t having success, please feel free to reach out to us and we’ll provide you with our thoughts on how you can get more results from your Social Media Marketing.
Oh, and if you’re looking to find out what ‘WTF’ means then go ahead and Google “wtf wikipedia”…