It’s easy to get swept up into social media madness, spending hours every day following the thought leaders in your industry and inserting your brand into every meaningful conversation. However, at the end of the day, has that time been well spent for your business, creating real leads and sales, or has it wasted time that could have been better used elsewhere? Follow these four tips to use your social media time wisely, as a crucial and aligned element of your marketing efforts.
Focus on your business
Every industry is different, and the needs of business-to-business companies will be different from the needs of business-to-consumer companies. Based on your demographic, determine which social media platforms your customers use, and focus your attention only on those platforms. Figure out where social media fits into your overall business model, whether as a means for customer support, brand awareness, or lead generation, and then align your social media efforts with the rest of your efforts to support that business function. Pay no attention to any measure of popularity for your competitors, only to how well your own efforts are supporting your chosen business function. Ruthlessly select your social media activities based on return on investment, and only pursue those with the highest ROI.
Create content first
To create valuable content, determine who your customers are and what they want. Then create content that tells them how to get that. Most of the time, your products will help them, however when they have a want that isn’t addressed by your products, tell them how to satisfy that need anyway. Be entertaining, interesting, and informative. Write with a distinct personality, from a specific point of view, including people, things, and companies you like as well as those you dislike or feel could have done something better. Reuse your content by contributing it to industry publications or using it as the basis for in-person talks or webinars.
Use the right measurements
For Facebook, the number of your Fans is not as important as the “People Talking About This” metric. Fans are a theoretical number of people who might have seen your post, while the number of people talking about it – liking it, sharing it, or commenting on it – is a real number. Twitter followers rarely convert to sales, whereas you can statistically predict the number of sales that will be generated by every email based on the number of email subscribers. Therefore, the number of subscribers is more important than the number of followers.
Give it time
The most important thing about social media is that it is not instantaneous. People will still be discovering your content for months and years after you post it. Don’t get discouraged if you do not have an immediate reaction to your efforts, and stop too soon.
The Internet Marketing Academy