It is well-documented that people are spending an increasing proportion of their time on social media, with office workers in the UK wasting on average two hours per day scrolling through the socials. That alone equates to a considerable amount of wasted person-hours and revenue. But could your business also be spending too much time on social media?
There is no doubt that social media has transformed the world of marketing for big and small businesses alike. It enables companies to reach their customers on a far greater scale than before and is a fantastic way to build brand awareness and promote new products. It also makes it easier for businesses to interact with new and existing customers on a more personal level than ever before.
But, despite all the benefits of social media, it is far too easy to put all your marketing efforts into social media at the expense of other tried and tested channels. Knowing your customer base, figuring out why you are on social media in the first place, what you are using it for and which channels are most suited to your business are all questions you need to ask to ensure you do not waste time on fruitless social media campaigns.
Why are you on social media?
The uncomfortable truth is that, much like the pouty teenager posting selfies on Insta, businesses are often on social media to feel good about themselves. Posting about business successes and awards massages the company’s collective ego and gives them a nice, shiny online presence to be proud of.
Hopefully, you have other, more compelling reasons to be on social media. These might include building brand awareness and fostering a greater connection with customers. Social media is also an excellent way to drive traffic to your website through actions such as post boosts and well places CTA’s (calls to action).
If you have not paid too much thought to precisely why your business is on social media, it is probably time that you did!
Do You Have a Social Media Strategy?
The key to ensuring that you do not spend unnecessary time on social media is having a well thought out social mediastrategy. A social mediastrategy enables you to see how social media can support your business and ensure that your social media presence is meaningful and productive. Without one, you will likely be spending too much time and energy on social media without seeing any tangible benefit. There are several different things to consider when drawing up a plan, for example;
1. What are the best channels?
Depending on your target demographic, you need to determine which social media channels are going to prove the most effective. Do some research to see what platform your target audience are most likely to be found on. Facebook is still to go-to social media choice for many companies irrespective of their client base. This is probably wise as Facebook still reign supreme for consumer engagement even in some of the younger age demographics (80% of 15-25 year olds use Facebook regularly).
Twitter has proved to be an incredibly successful method of nurturing customer engagement for some businesses. For example, Greggs are hugely popular on Twitter thanks to their humorous tweets and publicity stunts. They are a perfect example of a brand re-inventing themselves through the clever use of social media.
2. Set Achievable Goals
For each social platform that you are using, you should set short-term, achievable goals. This will then help you measure the success of your social media marketing. For example, your goal could be to increase your Facebook or Twitter following by 100 each month. This gives you an easily identifiable target to achieve.
3. Developing a Content Strategy for each Channel
Different channels require different strategies. What works on Facebook will not necessarily work on Twitter. For example, a short term strategy might be to post two images on Instagram each day for a month to increase customer engagement in your brand. Or you may decide to boost your posts on Facebook for your local area for five days to see if you see an increase in sales.
Once you have written your strategy, you need to ensure that you set aside time and a budget for social media each week and do your best not to exceed either. Have a realistic view of what you can put into social media from both a time and financial perspective and what you expect from it in return.
It is all too easy to get sucked into the social media world and ignore other tried and tested marketing techniques. Social media undoubtedly has a vital role to play in the current world of marketing, but other channels can prove equally as fruitful. It would help if you also remembered that not everyone is a fan of social media and that there are a growing number of people who are making a conscious effort to move away from using social media so much.
Many businesses find that email campaigns are highly effective as it is a form of direct marketing that targets your customer base directly. SEO is an essential aspect of marketing that you ignore at your peril. Ensuring that your website is optimised to rank highly in searches is one of the most critical aspects of marketing in the current climate. On-page and off-page SEO should both be considered, and you need to make sure that your website is user-friendly and contains high-quality content.
So, if you suspect that you may be spending too much time and /or money on social media without seeing a satisfactory ROI, then you may want to consider re-thinking your social mediastrategy and draw up a more comprehensive and detailed plan that will make more constructive use of your time.
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