Your company is on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. You have assigned someone in your office to make various posts on a daily or weekly basis. You have some Likes and notice that some people have shared your posts on occasion.
You are not really sure how many posts should be made, what days to do it, or exactly what you should post about.
You are not sure if your company should have Pinterest or Instagram accounts. You do not know if your social media contributions are having any real impact on your business. You have no idea if it is bringing people to your door and or creating sales.
The only way that you have measured your social media success so far, is by the number of Likes that you get on Facebook.
I am quite certain that a lot of small business owners fall into this category. They believe what they are doing is social media marketing, when in fact, they are only dabbling in social media. Their attempts are halfhearted at best and do not contain any strategy, planning or measurement.
And that’s a big problem if you expect to get any return on your investments.
With social media, it is not a matter of putting it out there, forgetting about it and hoping for the best. The requirements for effective social media marketing are quite different from traditional marketing.
Social media are a touch point with the intention of driving visitors back to your website where you have an optimized landing page with some kind of information or offer for them to consider. So, you need a good effective and responsive website to start.
Now, we will look at some ways how to use social media effectively for your business.
You have to check what is happening with your posts and ads. Is your content being shared, liked or commented on? Did the audience do what you intended for your campaign?
For example, if you attempt to get people to sign up for your newsletter and very few people do; you will need to find out exactly what went wrong.
When you run ads, you need to test headlines and images to see what resonates with your audience. If not, it will be a very lacklustre campaign. You must understand the social media culture – people on the internet do not want aggressive sales pitches.
The hard sell approach just does not work here. People online are looking for information that is valuable to them. If you can give that to them at the right time in the sales funnel, you have a great shot at being successful.
You must clearly define who your market is by creating buyer personas and have a good understanding of the online sales funnel. Next, you will need to create a social media strategy and put a marketing plan in place.
You should have a social media calendar outlining a timeline for everything you are going to do for at least the next several months. A calendar for the entire year would be even better.
It is very important to collect and analyze your data that you receive from your web marketing efforts. The web analytics can give you very valuable information. It will ultimately tell you what is working and what is not. And most importantly, if you are getting a return on your investment (ROI).
Avinash Kaushik, author of Web 2.0, encourages the pursuit of simplifying perceived complexity in the field of data analytics. Google Analytics and Facebook Page Insights provides excellent data that will measure your campaigns. Both are very powerful and best of all, they are free!