You need to have SMART goals for your social media if you don’t want to be a ‘busy fool’. It is an excellent digital communication channel but requires time, creativity and some financial investment.
So, what is the real purpose of your social media activity?
This ties in with your marketing goals and what you want social media to achieve for you. This could be lead generation, customer service, raising brand awareness or telling people about a new product or service.
Set your goals for social media with the following questions in mind, or apply them to the one you’ve already got:
Who exactly do you want to like or follow your page?
Customers, peers, influencers, suppliers, competitors? Even if they don’t Like your profile, they can still follow you and see your updates. If this is a concern, you’ll need to keep an eye on your followers and either block them, set up Private Twitter accounts or develop key messages for each audience.
Which social media profile/s should you prioritise?
You may have the time, team and appetite to be ‘everywhere’ so try to modify your posts and schedule to reach target customers when they are in the right ‘zone’. Deciding upon the Right Place is individual to your organisation – you will know where you get the warmest welcome and it’s okay to be choosy. Have branded profiles on all the platforms if you wish, but focus your time and energy on the two or three that really make a difference.
What content would they find valuable?
What content will my target market engage with? Research, observe and listen. It’s okay to be passive for a while. Take as long as you want, because there’s no hurry. What’s key, is developing the Right Message. Social media is going to be there for a long time and isn’t going to run away without you!
Do you need a content calendar?
Developing one is really useful, even if it’s a simple one created in Excel.
Many businesses will have ‘seasons’ of key dates and events and having a calendar makes sure you are ready and you are prepared to talk about the right things at the right time.
How often will you post?
Although you don’t need to post dozens of times a day, it does need to be done regularly and consistently. If you have big bursts of activity and then nobody hears from you for months, people will gradually lose interest.
Don’t leave social media to the last minute.
It’s a really valuable communications tool so include it in your campaign plans. Develop your messages alongside the rest of your campaigns and schedule them in advance. Then go and make that cuppa!
You need a plan, because planning prevents poor performance.
Your Customers Set the Tone…
When you know the tone and language of your target market (informal, hip, corporate, industry jargon?) it’s easier to join the conversation, to fit in. If you’ve spent some time following what they post and engage with online you’ll learn the topics they talk about regularly. You’ll gauge what they most care about.
Once you know the questions they ask and know you have the answers that could help them, start experimenting. Post regularly and see what gets a reaction.
SMART Goals are ‘Realistic’ too.
Be realistic about what social media can do for you. The volume is at the top (likes and follows) but it’ll be a much smaller number of people who’ll move through the funnel to subscribe and buy from you.
This is how sales and marketing have always been and always will be, so don’t worry.
Build social media into your regular marketing and it will help to attract, convert and engage customers.
Is your social media reaching target customers at the right time?
Not everybody wants what we do and what we make, or even if they do, they may not want it right now. That doesn’t mean they’re not interested, it just means that it’s not the right time for them.
Once you have realistic goals, you’ll enjoy using social media a lot more, because it can be a lot of fun. You can meet and chat with people you wouldn’t have come into contact with ordinarily.
Social media allows you to take the first steps in developing relationships that could last for years.