Why isn’t social media marketing easier?
Social media marketing is not easy, yet many businesses approach it thinking it should be a doddle. They believe they can manage in the same way they do with their own personal profiles, you know, updating Facebook or Twitter with random pictures or status updates whenever they can be bothered – but it doesn’t work that way. Using social media as a marketing tool in your business is so much more than that, and it needs to be approached like you would approach any other form of advertising and promotion, such as TV, radio, print, events or online ads. When these tactics are used, business owners typically plan what they are going to do, why and in some cases employ the services of an agency to help them along. However, when it comes to social media, small business owners either hand it to the office junior (because they’re young and get it) or do it themselves, when they have time. I’d hate to say it, but this approach is one of the reasons social media seems so hard. So, how can you make social media marketing easier?
4 tips to make social media marketing easier.
1. Develop a plan
Social media, like anyting in business requires careful planning and, most importantly a strategy. Understanding the ‘why’ around using social media to market your business and crafting a clear strategy, will give it purpose and more importantly, a point. This social media strategy needs to tie into the overall business strategy, and be utilised as a tool to deliver on that strategy. Understanding the ‘how’ through careful planning will help you better manage your social media marketing and keep it on track, helping you schedule your activity and know who is doing what and when.
2. Allocate it some time
Managing social media for your business requires time, and sometimes a lot of it. How much exactly will depend on what your strategy is. For example, using social media to manage customer service is much more time intensive, than straight forward branding. Either way, social media for business requires you to be active on social media on a regular basis – and this means more than once a week.
3. Learn about it
Using social media for your personal life versus using it to market a business is like chalk and cheese. Social media marketing involves a steep learning curve, if you are going to do it properly. From learning which platform is right for your business, how to use the platform properly, how to find your target market (as opposed to your friends), analytics, content scheduling tools, content curation tools and video and photography editing tools – to get the most out of requires you to sit down and get your head around it, otherwise you are just scratching the surface of what you can achieve.
4. Allocate resources
You’ve probably heard the saying, ‘you gotta spend money to make money’, well it’s the same with social media. As hard as small business tries to fight this, social media needs some means of financial investment, or better still it needs to be included in the marketing budget. This investment can be in the form of an advertising budget for the likes of Facebook, Twitter or Adwords, if you are running a blog, to allocating staff hours to manage it – which could be at the cost of the same staff answering phones or being on the shop floor. Either way, business needs to stop thinking of social media as a free marketing tool that can run itself. If you are going to use social media to drive purchase, and therefore build revenue, it’s highly advisable that you invest in promoting this activity. It’s also worth spending some money to build awareness of your social media profiles and build an audience, particularly when you first start off.
Social media marketing is not easy, but it doesn’t have to be so hard that it causes you to walk away. Follow these 4 simple tips and not only will you find social media marketing easier, you may even start enjoying it – and when that happens, your community will love you for it.