How do you find the idea of using social media to grow your business? Well, I’ve found that a lot of businesses aren’t so keen about social media. In fact, when I tell any of my (digital marketing) consulting clients that they’re ignoring their social media, they seem OK with it.
Apparently, they don’t see much “ROI” from their social channels. Now, I agree: It’s not so straightforward to tie business growth metrics with social media marketing.
BUT they ARE connected. Let me explain…
If I asked you your top 3 business goals… you’d probably tell me that you want to:
- Bring more traffic to your website
- Increase your brand awareness
- Engage with your current/potential customers
Now what if I told you that posting on your social profiles — even once a day — contributes toward all these goals? Well, you’ll be surprised to know that social media makes up for about 31% of all referral traffic to a website. (GOAL #1)
Also, a survey found that “at least once a month, 83 percent of survey respondents heard about a brand or product on social media before they heard about it from any other source.” (GOAL #2)
Moreover, about 30% of millennials engage with a brand on social at least once a month. (GOAL #3)
But of course, just like any other digital marketing channel, using social media to grow your business also needs a plan. I’ll now show you the first three steps I take when setting up my clients’ social media marketing up for success.
Step #1: Getting The Logistics Right (OR choosing the right platform based on the business type)
The first step to using social media to grow your business is signing up for the right social media platforms.
So what’s a right social media platform? Well, a right social media platform is one where a business’s potential customers hang out.
Here’s what I’m mean:
Suppose you have a tool that finds leads for software companies… and your target audience includes the Chief Sales Officers at these companies.
In this case, the only social platforms you need to be on are:
- LinkedIn (so you can build a professional network by connecting with your potential clients)
- Facebook (so you can distribute your blog content and drive traffic back to your website)
- Twitter (so you can share your blog posts and reshare engaging content your potential readers might find useful)
Instagram or Pinterest won’t work for you here because senior sales professionals are less likely to be active on them.
Now contrast this business with one that offers bartending services. If you offered bartending services, you’d need to be on different platforms.
In the bartending case, you need to get on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook because these are visual platforms, and because of the nature of your business, you’d tend to have tons of beautiful, original pictures and videos to share.
Even LinkedIn will work for you because it will let you connect with Community Managers at local companies and get business opportunities like local corporate events and more.
Obviously, it’s not always so straightforward as these examples, but you get the idea, right? The bottom line is that you need to choose the platforms that your customers routinely visit and engage with. (Signing up for 10s of platforms only means spreading yourself too thin and wasting your efforts.)
Step #2: Setting Goals For Using Social Media To Grow Your Business
Setting the right social media marketing goals that align with your business goals is the next important step when using social media to grow your business. Typical social media goals that match with business goals include driving more traffic to the website, increasing brand awareness, boosting brand engagement, and more.
So, for this step, identify your top 3 business cum social media marketing goals and set meaningful targets for each. For example, if your social media platforms send 200 visitors to your website each month, a good goal would be to increase the monthly social referral traffic to 300.
Once you set a goal, you can determine the next steps. In this instance, you can meet your goal by publishing more often, using better copy for your posts, and optimizing your overall social presence. All this would help you get more clicks on the content you share thus bringing more traffic to your website.
If instead of building more traffic, you wanted to work on your brand awareness, then you’d have to see how many social followers you have and what’s the number you want to reach. More quality followers translate to higher visibility (or awareness) for your brand. Likewise, plan out what social media goals your business goals would translate to and set targets for each.
Step #3: Planning The Full Month’s Worth Of Social Content
After the high level decisions like choosing the right platforms and setting reasonable goals, comes the actual content you’ll post on your social media. Here’s where a social media content calendar comes in.
Without a social media content calendar, you’ll end up with very inconsistent social feeds. For example, you might find yourself sharing your company’s outing pics in April and in May, you’ll be talking about some “cool” upcoming features in your product. To avoid such a vague feed and to share value consistently (which is the key to getting results with social media), you need to plan your social calendar at least a month in advance.
For making your monthly social media content plan, list out:
- The posts you plan to add to your blog during the month
- The different product features/services you want to promote for the month
- Any events you might attend (or might want to cover on your social channels)
Once your list is ready, get into the nitty-gritty stuff like determining the times and frequency of posting, choosing the voice and tone, creating images that boost clicks and shares, etc. Getting this part right is tricky because it needs a full understanding of how your social followers. For now, just focus on the bigger picture and create a basic calendar – and you should be set.
So there you have it — a basic 3-step process for using social media to grow your business.
But remember… An inconsistent social feed full of self-promotional content is the worst type of social media marketing.
Social media marketing appears to be simple.
But it’s not.
As a driver of traffic, leads, brand awareness, and engagement, social media deserves more than a tweet here or a snap there or multiple, random postings every day. With the right strategy, using social media to grow your business can get excellent results. So start looking at your social media platforms as serious business channels and optimize them so they’re more effective.
If you need some guidance, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll help with some ideas to help you reach your social business goals.