Successful Social Media Marketing for Business
- 4th May 2016
Many small business owners get in touch with us because they need help with their social media marketing and while they realise that they need it, they don’t always trust it, like it, or understand it.
Some think that social media marketing is some sort of witchcraft, and would rather not personally get involved with it. Some people even doubt whether it really works.
Here at Not Greedy Media, we normally have to crash down a few barriers that our clients have towards social media at the start. Luckily, as the weeks and months go by our clients start to understand that social media is actually an impactful part of their company’s wider marketing mix. Phew!
Social media marketing — it’s not witchcraft
If you really want to give social media a positive chance then it’s best if you can appreciate and understand a few things about social media marketing.
Here are five things you should consider before you start:
1. Be open minded, persistent and patient
OK, so social media might not have worked for you before, but that could have been for a number of reasons. Maybe you spent too much time on the wrong channels, failed to post enough relevant content, or maybe you came across too boring and/or sales-focussed? Perhaps you gave up too soon and didn’t give it the proper chance it deserved?
Digital marketing is not something you should dismiss. All you have to do is search online to find some statistics to demonstrate the value of social media for business. For example an interesting article from Hubspot details some important findings, including: “80 per cent of marketers indicated that their social media efforts increased traffic and 92 per cent of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their businesses.”
If you’re looking for a fast marketing effort that can demonstrate a very quick and clear ROI, then social media will probably never make you feel satisfied. Social media marketing is more about building up relationships, engagement, trust and making people aware of your brand. It is not about using a hard sales patter, but by getting people to like your brand and the things that you post. Like in the rest of life, you can’t wave a wand and get people to instantly like and trust you — it’s not something that can be pushed.
2. Remember social media is time consuming
If you’re a small business owner looking to interact with the world of social media, then the first thing you must remember is that it takes time, and like your other serious marketing efforts, it needs strategy behind it.
Like growing seeds in the garden, you wouldn’t expect to see results until you did some nurturing and certain key factors aligned.
No, I’m not suggesting you give up on social media and take up gardening, I’m trying to demonstrate that it takes a long time to build up a genuine organic audience and true engagement…
And what do I mean by engagement? I mean really getting involved with your social media, being responsive, replying to comments and taking the time to regularly post fresh, original and interesting content that will best connect with your customers/audience. Then and only then will you be able to watch your little social media seedlings grow.
Be aware: this is not a job that ever goes away. Social media is a commitment and something that needs to be constantly maintained and monitored, 24/7. Obviously, the nuts and bolts of keeping your business running takes precedence, so it’s understandable why it sometimes gets neglected and negatively thought about.
3. Have some input in order to communicate your business
Another thing that seems to get misunderstood, especially at the very start, is that a certain amount of personal input from the brand is needed for social media to be a true success.
Social media (and your audience) requires personal communication from your brand directly — you know your business better than anyone so use this knowledge to enhance your online marketing efforts. If a new business lead had come into your shop, office, salon, etc, or had given you a call directly, surely you’d try hard to communicate your products, services, offers, news and business ethos to capture them?
You certainly wouldn’t expect a total stranger to know all of these precious and evolving details about your business better than you would you?
Just because social media is an informal written form of communication, it doesn’t mean that it’s not serious, or that certain marketing rules don’t apply.
4. Think about setting aside a budget
You may think that because most social media is free to use personally, that it works exactly the same in business. Unfortunately that’s not always the case.
There’s a lot you can do organically and without spending a penny (well, apart from your time, or staff time of course), but when you’re using social media for business, it needs commercial input from time to time.
Social media platforms, like Facebook for example, are making it harder for business pages to grow their audience and engagement organically. To really give things a push, it’s sometimes worth considering mixing up your organic posts with paid boosting and Facebook adverts. These can help your posts and page get more exposure, promoting your business to more of a targeted audience.
5. Attribute the task of social media to someone dedicated
Social media can be very successful so long as you put the understanding, time and effort into it. If you haven’t got time yourself then think about someone in your business who could take this challenging role on, or at least be an informative point of contact for an outside agency.
Based in Bristol, Not greedy Media have experience in all forms of online content marketing and social media — if you’re struggling to make yours a success then email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call on 0145 4222 959.