Social Media is something that is still an illusive concept for many businesses. It does not function like the many marketing medias have in the past.
Each social network has different strengths, different types of audiences and various techniques that work best. Certain businesses will be able to flourish on Facebook one network but struggle with Linkedin, or visa-versa. The key is to understand who your audience is, where they are online, what they are doing there, and if they are willing to engage with you on that network.
We won't get into the indepth details of each network but rather focus on the the most widely adopted one, Facebook.
Although Facebook can be a powerful platform to take advantage of, many businesses still struggle in making it work for them and measuring the impact it has on their business. Now with Facebook being such a huge place, it has become increasingly noisy and the users are more careful of who they "like". This is natural and means that businesses need to be smarter with how they use it, and what kind of ROI they can expect.
We've found there that many Facebook Business pages fall into one of the following two categories.
The Token Page
These pages have a nice cover image, post occasionally and maybe have an App that allows them to list out the services or business information. However, there is almost no engagement on these pages. There are few or no updates, perhaps some Tweets that have been fed into the status update or the occasional sales message. They don't gain many fans due to the lack of content.
They require little maintenance and act more as search engine bait and hope it will lead users to the company website.
Actively Involved Page
These pages have regular status updates that range between engaging, informative, fun and promotional. They willingly spend 15-30 minutes a day on facebook working on interacting with users in a meaningful way. They are likely to see more page "likes", more comments and even shared content. Contests are used to gain fans or gather leads, but the primary focus is to interact and provide something useful to clients.
Ideally, you want to be actively involved with the online community.
It's all about genuine engagement
Social Media is not about maintaining a constant sales message. Although you want to promote your business, Social media is ultimately about being social. You want to start conversation and engage with potential customers. When they are ready, they will naturally make their way to your website. You can occasionally nudge them with a promotion but that should not be the focus.
You can certainly make use of Facebook Ads as an additional way to reach your audience, but without a real presence the impact is likely to be minimal.
It's a long term investment
Facebook, and any other Social Media channel is a long term investment of time. Once you have brand in place, you need to maintain a consistent presence and personality in oder to get attention, fans, followers, and friends. Eventually some of those user will become you customers as well.
Keep in mind that you will get what you give. If you put in consitent effort over time, you will start to see your reach grow. Showing up once every couple weeks isn't enough to get any real traction.
Know you audience, have a plan, measure the results
This can be daunting for a business, especially if you are managing multiple social channels. This is where we come in.
We can work with you to create a measurable strategy for getting exposure on the social net. We can help you understand which networks would benefit your business most based on your target market, how you can reach these people, what you could be saying, and even prepare contest and full Social Media Marketing campaigns.
Each business is unique and so we work closely with you to understand what you want to accomplish and we help you do it. We then track the results and help you understand what is working, what could use some tweaking and what the next steps are.
Learn how we can help you engage with your audience online.