Where's My Social Media ROI?
What do I have to do?
Posted on: 15/11/2012 By: Julia Bramble
Social media is the new ''thing''. It's the new must-have string to your bow. Because it's shiny and bright and exciting, and entrepreneurs are like magpies, we've all jumped on, haven't we, often sparing very little thought for what it's actually going to achieve for our business?
social media is a great way for a business to connect but are you using it effectively?
So, let's rewind for a moment and have a think about why we're using social media, in order that you can focus your activity to get the results you want. "Social media - what is it then? Why's everyone raving about it?" Or " Oh that ... Yes I tried it for a bit but just ended up spending hours on it hearing about what my friends had for breakfast, and got nowhere fast!"
Do either of those phrases have a ring of familiarity about them? Well, you're not alone! I speak to business owners every day who say exactly the same thing. And yet - social media activity is just another form of communication, so why does it either scare or elude us?
As with everything in business, if we allow ourselves a little time to think through why it is we want to use social media, what we want to achieve from it and how we can measure it, then I'd suggest we 're 2/3 of the way there already!
What can social media do for your business? All of the list below and much, much more....
Communicate with your customers,
Increase brand awareness,
Establish yourself as an expert,
Demonstrate your 'core values',
Drive traffic to your website, blog, premises, or an event,
Enable great and convenient customer service,
Provide market research,
Provide competitor research,
Build your online and offline networks,
Get to know your customers and prospects, and find out what they care about,
Promote your products, services or special offer.
To really get social media working for you, choose no more than 3 of the above to prioritise. This will then dictate the slant you will need to put on your activity, and the resources you might need to put into it.
The next thing you need to know (unless you're going to use social media entirely for research) is who you're going to be engaging with, or talking to.
Social media allows us to communicate at 2 levels, and both have their place. We can put information out there about ourselves (as a business and a person) and also about stuff that we know our customers and prospects will be interested in. We can also have 1:1 conversations. The real power of using social media usually stems from those 1:1 conversations, but they will often stem from, and will always be backed up by, the more general information you offer to your audience. And that needs to be dictated by what your audience is going to be interested in.
So - who is your audience? Probably the people you want as customers or clients. That being the case, you need to be sharing information that they will be interested in, challenged, or entertained by. How do we know what that is? Well, if we take time to think about who these people are, in terms of all the detail we can muster (where they live, what income they have, what family they have, what their interests are, what motivates them, and much more) then we can start to answer that question. We will also get some pretty big clues about what social networks we would be most likely to find them in too.
Once you've got to grips with both those parts of the equation, then suddenly you have a focus for your social media activity, you have goals you can measure success against (even if you don't have definitive figures) and a basic strategy in terms of what to share and on what networks. Thinking around your objectives will also guide you as to who to focus on, when it comes to making connections and having those all- important personal conversations.
So, it just goes to show, that, along with everything else in business, the more thought you put into your social media activity, the more you can expect to get from it. But please do remember that it is a slow burn, not a silver bullet (although exciting things can and do happen very quickly for businesses sharing what they're all about on the social networks.)
I challenge you to put some time aside to really concentrate on the questions and thoughts I've outlined here and to re-jig your social media strategy accordingly. You will be pleasantly surprised!
Until next time ...
Julia at BrambleBuzz is passionate about helping you get the results you need from social media with training, consultancy, strategy and complete management solutions. She has helped over 100 business owners get social media working for them and is the social media expert to Nigel Botterill and The Entrepreneur's Circle
So, are you missing out on communicating with past, present and future customers because you're not using social media, or not using it effectively? We get you talking in the right way to the right people to get the right results. Simples!