Social media can drive significant business results. So many people jump into social media without understanding what they are doing or why they are doing it. The answer is not to just do what others are doing, but to do it with intention. Join and participate in Social Media because it will help you reach your goals.
Goal setting is a topic on its own right. You should have some goals for your business. Some examples of great small business goals:
- Reduce the cost of running your business
- Raise your rates without losing clients
- Achieve financial security
- Improve customer service satisfaction
- Increase profits by X percentage
- Expand the company size (employees for example)
- How old is your audience?
- Do they have children or Grand children?
- Where do they live?
- Why do they live there?
- What brands do they like?
- Why do they like those brands?
- Identify at least five main topics your business addresses
- Create a calendar to plan relevant content around your main keywords and topics
- Brainstorm ideas for content around the topics you have established. Think about questions your customers have before and after they purchase from you.
- Offer a variety of content formats, not just writing. Photo’s are very important and compelling in Social Media.
Here are some examples of digital and social media objectives:
- Build an online community
- Increase conversions from visitor to buyers (donors, or volunteers)
- Become a media resource
- Increase online visibility
These example Objectives can translate to specific goals:
- Reach 1000 e-mail subscribers
- Increase percentage of website visitors to buyers
- Generate one article per week
- Find and develop 5 new relationships per week through Social Media
- Obtain first page rank for “Houston’s Best Hair Salon”
Here is an Example of how to put it all together. Keep in mind that “all other things being equal” and attaining an Objective should be directly traced to a Strategy and Goal.
- If your goal is to reduce the cost of running your business then it might be important to drive your social media campaign organically rather than through advertising channels. This will take more effort on your part because driving results organically means you have to publish more information and engage your audience.
- For a goal related to raising rates without losing clients you will want to show how you add value to your customers by providing special services and discounts. Social media can do that by making your customer feel special. You can make them feel like they are getting something others are not, like special discounts or extra content and advice.
- You may want to create a feeling of community using your Social Media channels by providing advice to others and “Asking for advice” from others. Creating a community can expand the reach of your message beyond your customers to your peers and neighbors.
- Engage your fans by giving customers a reason to talk about your brand.
What Social Media Platforms to use:
Allows members to pin or post photo’s videos and other images to their boards. Pinterest has a primarily female audience and is great for businesses where visual imagery is a main feature. If your business has a component of weddings, travel, interior design, fashion, food, children or DIY advice Pinterest is a great place for you. One of the best ways to use this platform is to create a Pinterest board with collections. You don’t have to necessarily only “Pin” your products. If you “Pin” others items you will soon get followers who want to follow your board. When you add something from your own website to your pin board others will see it and follow it to your website to see more.
Linkedin is a networking site. You can grow connections with peers and see what your competitors are up to. There are also great discussion groups where you can politely discuss your interests and provide that, all important, helping hand. You can post your blog posts on Linkedin and gain more interest in your website and content.
YouTube is one of THE MOST POWERFUL tools out there. It is visually driven and gets worldwide attention. The key is to feature your product or service in an unforgettable way. Videos that show how to do something, demonstrate your product or service are usually popular.
Unlike Facebook, where people have to choose to “like” your page, Twitter is more spontaneous and does not require any special permissions. People can, of course, follow you on Twitter. If you have breaking news, updates or you want to ask opinions and get quick responses Twitter is your tool.
This is one of the most powerful social platforms in the world. Facebook is all about a long-term commitment and building relationships. Every business can benefit from having a page, but it is not about selling. Your goal on Facebook should be to let customers get to know you and what is behind your brand. If done correctly, your fans will become loyal followers and Facebook can generate significant leads.