We are often asked about Social Media Marketing – Facebook, GooglePlus, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine , Stumbledupon, Digg – there are so many, where do you start? Every day there seems to be another social network that the experts are saying will be the next big thing and that you as a small business owner need to get involved with to ‘engage’ with your audience and get more leads., more business.
The reality is that as small/medium sized businesses there is no need to spread resources too thin trying to master every social network under the sun.
Like everything else at Snap Marketing, we recommend that the best place to start the process of deciding which social media platform your should concentrate on, depends entirely on your target market. Have you done your product positioning and know your target market? Defined it segment by segment? Spend time on this – its worth it.
So here are Snap Marketing’s 3 Steps to Social Media Success
Step 1: Be active on the social media where your target audience is.
Take time to understand which social networks will be most valuable to you in terms of the segments you identified in your target marketing exercise.
It is wrong to believe that you have to be active on all the different networks because this achieves the most exposure. Simply use the Social Media networks where your target market is most active.
So if you are selling your products and services into a B2B company, LinkedIn would be the most valuable network to focus on. However, if you’re trying to connect with 16-24 year old with a consumer product proposition, Instagram might work better for you.
Step 2: Pick the Social Media Platforms you like best.
If you don’t ‘get’ Facebook, then you will be less engaged with it and this lack of enthusiasm will show through. Because social media activity is so transient, your updates, images and words of wisdom will be lost after a couple of hours maximum. If you can’t be a regular contributor because of a lack of empathy with the platform, you will treat it as a chore and this will show.
Post stuff that is of interest to you, or that you think will be of interest to your target audience. This is especially relevant for Twitter because the life expectancy of a tweet is really short, you need to be posting on Twitter frequently to make it a valuable use of resources. And use tools like Hootsuite to make this easier for you.
Step 3: Make time to update your social media platforms daily.
Most large organisations have dedicated teams of social media marketers or they outsource this function to a specialist agency. They spend all their time managing the various social media accounts and engaging with followers.
For SME’s this is not economically viable, but you can set aside say an hour to incorporate social media into your working routine. If you focus on your business strengths, interests and on networks you can relate too, you will be more engaged and enthusiastic yourself; this will shine through to you followers and further engagement will follow. And over time this will help build your on-line reputation, branding and will help in new business development.
Written by Matthew Simmons