Is social media worth it? It’s an important question for a business owner to ask, because many businesses don’t even measure social media’s return on investment. They don’t measure social media at all.
Every tool and human effort your business is involved with should be held accountable in some way. Social media is a tool – a powerful one for your business. Like all tools – if it’s used correctly it can build empires. Conversely, if it’s used incorrectly it can destroy them or not build a solid foundation for your empire. Social media is also not about cat videos and motivational quotes – there’s a time and place for everything; just not every 3rd post on your profile or company page.
Business owners make several mistakes when it comes to seeking results with social media. The first one is one most owners make is the same one they make with all marketing: not aligning their tactics with their business goals. They set a business goal to be visible and increase awareness of their brand so they open up a Facebook page or a LinkedIn profile. Then they go about posting motivational quotes or sharing links that are not tied to their industry, product, service or owner’s philosophy – and they don’t say why they’ve shared this or what value they think their prospects will receive from reading this link.
Increasing awareness of your brand, owner’s expertise or product/service can and should be attained by sharing links you find useful. However, make sure your clients will find them useful too. Social media is not about you, the owner; it’s about your clients, community and prospects.
Setting goals is not a new concept for business – or for any of us personally. It is the New Year after all, we’ve probably all set new goals for ourselves, our health, finances, etc. What are your business goals for 2017? How can social media help you attain them?
How would this look? Let me show you an example. Let’s say a business is new so their goal for 2017 is to increase awareness of their owner’s expertise and the business. Currently, their awareness is at 0 – nobody really knows about them; they are the best kept secret and they know social media is their tool for success.
This social media strategy would look like this:
• Create the measurement of the business goal – Increase awareness of expertise to bring 20% more speaking opportunities within the community.
• Define who you are talking to. What solution do you provide? How do you help your prospects relieve their pain? How did you come to your solution?
• Where is the best place to be visible? Know what type of conversation you want to have. Is it going to be casual, yet authoritative? Facebook may be your answer. Need to increase your expert voice? LinkedIn is where you want to have those CEO conversations. Want to get a lot out in a short period of time? Twitter is the cocktail party you need to be at.
• Understand the key word in social media is Social. It’s about conversation –conversations with solutions for the problems your expertise will solve.
There is a quote: “You can make more friends in 2 months if you simply become interested in others than you can in 2 years trying to get people interested in you.” (Anonymous) This is the foundation of social media. It’s a natural law of social media – be interested in your clients, your community, your prospects.
With that quote in mind, when designing your content strategy, keep your content balanced and look for how you can connect your business, product, service or you as a person to local business stories, company-related news, information about local events, and motivational quotes specific to your industry. Share industry-specific articles and answer questions such as: What myths about your industry do you need to debunk?
Every tactic your business strategy includes has a way to measure it, whether it is in the numbers on your bottom line or the increase in your influence in your community or industry. Start with your strategy for your business. Social media is about conversation, education and moving people into your shop or business. Discover how your business can use it to your best advantage.
Measure it by how many times your phone rings for consults or how many email requests for speaking engagements you get. If you look at your emails and your likes, comments, views and shares – you may not see any exact correlation. Why? Because the return on social media for business is found beyond the clicks, likes and follows.
The answer to the question at the beginning is Yes, social media is valuable to your business. It’s too valuable to ignore. Don’t ask what social media can do for you — ask what you can do for social media. Instead of asking where are all of the clicks, likes and follows from others, look into measuring the clicks, likes and follows your business gives to others.
Your social media ROI is as much about what your business chooses to use and do in social media contexts as it is about what others give to you.
I’d love to hear what your goals for 2017 are for your business. Got a question about how to get real results from social media? Connect with me on Twitter or join me on Facebook at Web Moxie Media or connect with me on LinkedIn and say “Hi.” I love to meet new people and help them with their social media and content strategy.
Tamara MacDuff, an award winning business owner at Web Moxie Media. She empowers business owner to get real results from their social media efforts & teaches workshops on social media, social media strategy and content creation & strategy. For more information visit her website at www.webmoxiemedia.com or reach out on Twitter (@WebMoxieMedia), Facebook (fb.com/webmoxiemedia) or LinkedIn (linkedin.com/in/tamaramacduff)She loves great coffee and conversation.