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This is an excerpt from my book, Getting Digital Marketing Right. Check it out on Amazon and try the Kindle or Paperback version.
Email me directly at [email protected] and let me know how you liked it! (Criticism appreciated!)
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Social media can be a powerful tool. But, it isn’t for everyone. There are a couple of things to consider when thinking about engaging with social media.
Start by Answering the Following:
- Do I have the resources to dedicate to this? (Time, energy, money)
- Is it worth investing resources into social media? (Opportunity cost)
- What budget can I set on this and do I need to set on this to make it worthwhile?
- What networks are my ideal customers on?
You can use one of two strategies with social media:
- Use it as a landing “page”
- Invest time, money, and energy into it
Social Media as a Landing Page
For many businesses, including my own, I recommend thinking of social media as a landing page.
What I mean is that you want to have a page on a major network like Facebook or LinkedIn, but that doesn’t mean you need to invest heavily into marketing on these channels.
Instead, you optimize the profiles so anyone visiting understands the benefits you can offer and are then linked to another source that they can continue researching on – likely your homepage or a specific landing page.
Meanwhile, to make it clear you are still active and in business, post a few times a week, just 3-4 times should be enough. The posts can be scheduled with a tool like Hootsuite and the content can be curated from other sources.
If you do this once a month, it will only take someone about two hours of their time to ensure that your Facebook page shows you are still an active company.
Investing in Social Media
For others, you may want to engage actively on social media. If that’s the case, just revisit my questions before to plan it out. Where are your customers? What can you invest? What do you need to invest?
Remember, to build your reach you may have to invest in advertising. Facebook specifically almost mandates advertising for you to grow your reach. You don’t need to invest a significant amount, but again, think opportunity cost…
But okay, that isn’t for everyone either. Maybe social makes sense for you. The first decision to make, then, is what social network to join?
To start, you should be using analytics to track what you have set up now. If you’re already deep into a social media campaign over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, see what channel(s) leads to more conversions for you. Do people click over to your links on Facebook or LinkedIn more? Is there 20% of your social media efforts that leads to 80% of your results? That’s one way to focus.
But let’s also break each down by target, communication method, and business types. This should serve as a guide to you to select one of the best channels for your business.
Target: Nearly anyone. Facebook ads allow you to focus on highly specific niches. You just want to be sure your target market is on Facebook. These days, almost everyone from teens to grandma and grandpa are on Facebook. Instead, measure whether this is the network your target is most on, or one of the others we will mention in a moment.
Method: Be personal. Have a personality. Ask questions. This isn’t the place to push sales (don’t make offers more than once a week, by the way). This is about building a brand, reputation, and connection.
Business Type: B2C products and services.
Target: Younger crowd. Focused on men and women in their twenties. This is a hard-and-fast type of network with many short messages. Noise is high, but you can stick out.
Method: Remember, 140 characters is not a lot. Beyond that, you want to make it short enough that people can quote you and respond to you with your message. The best is to shoot for 70 character messages. Make them interesting and interactive and you have something going here.
Business Type: B2C products and services; B2B unless you are in a complex-sales situation.
Target: Business professionals – simple as that. People are on LinkedIn to connect with peers, make deals, or find a job. Keep that in mind in your messages.
Method: Your messages should help them to connect with others and learn new skills. Beyond that, if you can become a connector that introduces people to each other, you’ll do even better.
Business Type: B2B!
Target: Middle-aged women, moms, and teen girls. 70% of users on Pinterest are women, which is great if that fits your target market.
Method: Pinterest is built on shareable images. Make sure all your pins and collections are vibrant. The images should jump out and grab attention. Mix in pictures relevant to your business and industry with pictures that hit common hobbies and interests of your target audience. It mixes things up and builds connections.
Business Type: B2C!
Again, this is a guide, not an absolute command. There are also plenty of other social networks out there to consider.
Always experiment to see what works best for you. New social networks aren’t out of the question either. If it fits your audience, the new, up-and-coming networks the mainstream doesn’t know about may be the best way for you to invest your time. It’s up to you to experiment and figure that out.
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Remember, this is an excerpt from my book, Getting Digital Marketing Right. Check it out on Amazon and try the Kindle or Paperback version. Email me directly at [email protected] and let me know how you liked it! (Criticism also appreciated!)
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