We understand that the idea of managing social media for your business can seem daunting, so we’ve compiled 7 key questions to consider before you take on the challenge of social media marketing. And in the spirit of kindness, we’ve even given you a cheat sheet for the answers.
- Ask yourself, should I invest my time in social media?
- We’re on social media, now what? What do you post about? Do I have to post every day?
- How do I grow my following?
- How do I choose the right platform for my business?
- What insights can I get from social media?
- How do I know if social media is worth the investment?
- Should I be paying for ads?
1. Should I invest my time in Social Media?
It sounds like an obvious question, but you’d be surprised. Everyone is no doubt telling you if you aren’t on Social Media your business will be dead in 3 months… 6 months… 12 months… 2 years… The funny thing is, we were told this 5 years ago! And yet there are plenty of successful businesses who aren’t on social media.
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is that aren’t aware of the investment required BEFORE they start using social media for their marketing. While social media is considered a ‘low cost’ marketing strategy, it has a very high ‘time cost’.
The multi-million dollar question is… will you get a return on your investment? And the answer is… Yes, you can. Social media has launched and grown many businesses over the years and yours could be one of them.
The key questions you need to answer ‘yes’ to before you start are:
- Are your potential customers on the platform?
- Would they be interested if you interrupted their feed?
- Can you commit to doing this over the long term?
- Are you happy to share helpful content with them?
If you love numbers… here’s some scary facts!
70% of small business owners fail before their 10th year in business (Fundera, 2020). Certainly, there are various reasons why a business may fail, however, CBInsights (November 2019) released ‘Top 20 Reasons Why Startups Fail’ – most of the time. At Oddball, we believe that developing a strong social strategy can improve at least 4 of the 20;
- 42% no market need (the business has not communicated the problem that they are fixing)
- 19% are outcompeted by competitors
- 14% have poor marketing
- 14% ignore their customers
2. We’re on social media, now what? What do you post about? Do I have to post every day?
A social media presence doesn’t simply mean you’ve built a page and posted once over 12 months ago, or even twice in the last month, there’s more to it than that. In fact, being on social media, but not committing to it can even be detrimental to your business.
Not only should you be posting regularly, but there should be ongoing engagement from your audience. You know the warm fuzzy feeling you get from likes, comments and shares. At a minimum, you should be posting 2-3 times per week, per channel and with purpose.
It’s all about working smarter, not harder. The first step is to understand who your audience is, what their pain points are, and how your business/product or service can add value to their lives. Our previous resource ‘Kickstart your Social Media Marketing’, will help you define this initial important step.
What do you post about?
Once you know exactly who your audience is and what keeps them tossing and turning at night, you can start to create a content plan that is relevant to them.
This may include:
- Business news including meet the team
- Product/ service information
- Blog posts
+ Heaps more
Do I have to post every day?
Yes and no. Your main goal is to engage your fans. What do they want to see? It’s important to think about what type of images, videos and messages you are going to use, and what content is right for which day? How are you going to add value to them? Don’t waste your valuable time on poorly planned content. We recommend creating a content document that will help you keep on top of your posting.
Save time, build a repository and schedule content
Build a repository of your own content that you can schedule a month in advance? Not to mention finding a selection of online resources you can call on at any time when you forget to create your next viral Instagram post.
Save time with User Generated Content (UGC)
Social media is meant to be a tool for you to create meaningful relationships with your audience and understand them better. Talking about yourself too much can turn your audience off, which can lead to an unfollow. User-generated content (UGC) is an effective content strategy that helps you:
- Save time on searching for content to post (making your own content planning a lot easier!)
- Keeps your audience entertained, whilst also creating compelling crowd-proven reviews to solidify your brand offering.
- Build’s relationships with your audiences and shows them that you care.
3. How to Grow Your Following?
Quite often the first couple of hundred fans are your close friends and your grandma who’s “oh so proud”. They’ve done you the favour of ‘sharing the love’ and on the surface looks like your page is showing growth, but deep down we know you need a real strategy to continually grow. A Facebook Likes Campaign, a video content strategy or utilising an Instagram Influencer to help reach new audiences could be the start.
Keeping consistent with your posting times
As we mentioned above, keeping consistent with your organic posting creates expectations for your followers. Being consistent with content quality and your posting schedule will help you cut through the noise on Facebook and Instagram.
Run promotions and contests
People love free or discounted products/ services and will continue to do so for some time. The Sprout Social Index, Edition XIV: Realign & Redefine, discovered that 72% of consumers are searching for discounts and sales on brands’ social media accounts. Whilst some marketers believed that only 18% of consumers would actually enjoy such a promotion. This means that there is plenty of opportunity in this area for growth, by giving the consumers exactly what they are searching for.
Running a contest or promotion could include promoting your brand by asking your audience to comment, like or share your brands’ page or post. Keep in mind It can also be a great excuse to grow your other social media accounts across other platforms.
Image source: sproutsocial.com
Build relationships with your followers
Have free time? It’s time to network! We encourage you to use this time wisely and get amongst your audience by commenting, liking, reaching out to like-minded consumers, sharing similar content and communicating with other businesses in your local area. Just engage as much as you can, and get creative with how you do it.
If you’re able to prove that you care about all your followers you are more likely to gain a more loyal following that spreads beyond social media.
Image source: sproutsocial.com
Don’t buy your followers
These followers are likely bots or inactive accounts, so they will not engage with your posts. Having large numbers of inactive ‘followers’ who do not engage with your posts will see your page penalised by Facebook and Instagrams algorithm.
4. How do I choose the right platform?
This step will go hand-in-hand with defining your target audience. Each platform caters to a different type of audience, so it’s important to pay attention to the type of individuals on each social media platform. For example, if you’re a B2B business trying to reach business professionals from 30-45 years of age, you’re NOT going to start a social account on Tik Tok that is heavily dominated by teenagers and young adolescents.. You would consider LinkedIn as it’s the most powerful B2B lead gen network, which would better serve your business objectives (you’re welcome B2B Businesses).
Image source: rottedweb.com
5. What insights can I get from social media?
Meet your new BFF, Facebook and Instagram insights – a free tool to help you effectively identify when the best times to post for your business are, the demographics of your page fans, and what type of content is performing. A breakdown of some of the top insights include:
- Times your followers are online
- Your fans age, location, and gender
- How each post is performing (engagement, reach, impressions etc)
- Your profile activity
- Activity / Funnel insight of your fans/ customers.
- (If you’re an e-commerce site) the value of your fans
6. How Do I Know if Social Media is Worth the Investment?
Much to the disbelief of many, we as ‘social media marketers’ don’t just “play on Facebook and Instagram all day”. A key part of social media marketing for businesses is ensuring we measure your return on investment, making sure the money you spend on social media returns more than just a few likes and comments from your mum…god love her. After all, we pride ourselves on being the Central Coast’s ‘Results Based Marketing Agency’.
So our questions here are all about identifying how customers transact with your business from enquiry to sale and ensuring we are capturing these as ‘Goals’ or ‘Conversions’. Whether it’s a phone call, a message to your Facebook page, purchase on your e-commerce website or submission through an online enquiry form, we want to know what happened, how often, and how we can help improve these conversion numbers.
Once we have mapped this out, we can then start to identify values of your Social Media audience, potential results from your campaigns and ensure they marry-up with your key business objectives.
7. Should I be Paying for Ads?
Don’t worry, you’re not the only person who ‘boosted a post’ because Facebook told you it was easy, only to later discover you just targeted everyone Australia wide who is 18-65, instead of your ideal target market (i.e. Women on the Central Coast, aged between 18-25, interested in Gyms, Yoga and Acai Bowls (You’re welcome for the easy tips Health and Fitness clubs).
We always love this part of the conversation, because it’s generally the light bulb moment for those business owners and marketing managers. Their face lights up, and we together realise their hard-earned dollars could be much better spent, to reach the right customers.
Still think Social Media is right for your business? Here’s your next step.
Need more information? We urge you to visit our previous resource where we dove into the realm of social media marketing and shared our step-by-step guide, a beginner-friendly guide to help you get started.
- How to choose the right channels
- Figuring out your content strategy
- Steps to targeting/defining your audience
- Your FREE Action checklist on paid social media essentials
- Measuring return on investment
There’s tons of benefits for going social with your brand, however, it can be a difficult task.
Remember social is an ongoing process that you have to continually monitor to improve the conversations you are having with your viewers.
Oddball is here and we’d love to help you grow your business. Get in touch with one of our experts today to talk about your social media marketing strategy.