Social media marketing is a vital element in the overall marketing plan for any small business, but specifically, in the digital marketing area of the plan. Digital marketing represents a significant challenge and opportunity for small business marketing. The challenge is to understand the whole digital landscape with its myriad of platforms. The opportunity lies in its relatively low cost and exceptional targeting capacity.
The Digital Marketing Opportunity for SME’s
As an Adelaide advertising agency who delivers both traditional (TV, radio, print) and digital marketing solutions (Search engine optimization – SEO, Search Engine Marketing – SEM, and Social Media Marketing – SMM) we see on a daily basis the enormous opportunity for small business in particular, with digital marketing. Why?
- Low Cost
It’s hard to imagine a small business who could not afford to engage an outsourced solution every month given the low cost of each individual service. Yet, each activity is capable of delivering very strong return on investment (ROI).
- Super Targeting
Digital marketing activities allow you to target like never before. Traditional media such as TV, radio and newspapers are often referred to as “mass media”. The central concept of mass media is to cast the net far and wide and hope to:
- Catch some buyers in the market today; and/or
- Create some demand with buyers who were not previously in the market
With digital marketing, you can talk to just the customers you want to, and this of course, saves SME’s heaps of money. In most cases, this cost hurdle is the difference between having an active marketing plan with a budget, to being excluded from a marketing altogether. This is a seismic shift: marketing will grow your business faster than any other activity … Administration activities will not grow your business (though may identify some cost savings), operations just gets the job done, its marketing & sales that grow the revenue of the business.
Where Social Media Marketing Fits in the Digital Marketing Plan
Social media can be an excellent marketing strategy for creating demand and awareness that your business and its products are available. Regular social media posting can alert buyers to current sale events. Also, you can advertise on social media, particularly Facebook and drive more traffic to your website and generate more sales orders.
Social Media Challenges for Small Businesses
Small businesses use content to activate conversations and deliver relevant information to their target customers. Unfortunately, many fail to adopt an end-to-end content marketing strategy that takes advantage of targeted opportunities. For instance, blog posts on company-owned websites need to be amplified, in addition to being posted. A mere selection of branded tweets loaded up on Twitter doesn’t work alone either. Posting updates on Facebook or LinkedIn company page is only half the battle if businesses are not digging these channels’ customer watering holes – the groups formed by members having common interests.
So, here’s a news flash! If you are like most small businesses, your social media strategy is unlikely to have a chance to succeed. Why? Either because you counted on the wrong social media strategy or you picked the wrong social media channel for your small business.
What is the best social media strategy for small business?
Set SMART social media goals
Just like any of your personal goals, your business’ social media goals must be handled with care, clarity of purpose and consistency, one step at a time, to avoid being overwhelmed with activities that produce fuzzy results.
Why most small businesses tend to fail miserably? Because they do not set long-term goals and they are too hasty to take steps, making two backward from the single step they took forward.
If you set specific quarterly social media goals and work to build each quarter’s success, then you will truly set yourself up, and your business, for success.
4 Steps to develop specific social media goals
- Create Measurable Goals
To ensure progress, each social media activity must accomplish a measurable task. For instance, you will measure Facebook’s impact on awareness differently than you would measure Twitter. In setting your goals, this differentiation should be accounted for. Treat these measurements as the control panel of your social media machine, the dials on your dashboard. Measurement involves numbers, but these numbers don’t make sense without objectives.
Measure your social media goals in three key metrics:
(1)The people you reached with your specific activity.
(2) The readers and customers you engaged (reads, shares, retweets), and (3) The customers you moved toward a purchase as a result of your social media activity.
Example: From April1 to June 30, company messaging, sharing and clicking will increase by 10%. This will help increase incremental audience and awareness of the company’s value proposition. Ultimately, generate and drive leads to sales funnel.
- Create achievable goals
Social media goals are a challenge, but not a stretch if they are achievable and realistic. It’s a good exercise to test your resourcefulness and see if you can accomplish what might appear unrealistic or unattainable. Start by taking inventory of your team, your baseline knowledge and resources. See if you have enough in your arsenal to accomplish what you have set so far. And remember, like a rubber band, if you overstretch your goals or resources, your infrastructure might possibly break.
Example: By second week of April, company site will have a monthly content stream of 20 blog posts, 300 tweets on Twitter, 25 updates on Facebook to increase brand awareness through social media. (You may need to secure social media help to pull this off).
- Create result-focused goals
In measuring social media goals, measure outcomes NOT social media activities. You do not want your goal to be to send out 10 tweets daily. What good does that do to you? Your goal is to increase awareness of your brand so you send out those 10 tweets.
Example: By end of June 2015, opt-in database for one-on-one messaging with customers will increase by 20%. Early bird deals for customers promoted through social media led to sign ups for exclusive email newsletter.
- Assign time-based constraint on goals
A practical sense of urgency and tension could lead to completion of the goals on time. An Editorial Calendar and a strict implementation strategy help get things done right on schedule.
Dish Out Delicious Content for Your Customers
An element of successful content marketing strategy is having customers promote your business with user-generated content. Content is the food for your social media channels. But content created and shared by happy customers? Delicious.
Imagine this. Your customers are happily posting smartphone snapshots and comments on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts while sitting at your restaurant’s table. Isn’t that a delicious thought? Your customers are actually sampling your small business from the comfort of their smartphones. Now, are you helping them feed your content stream with the right social media and content marketing strategy or are you letting them salivate over your competitors’ posts?
Small businesses must make it easy for their customers to follow, engage, advocate and convert for return visit. Don’t make it hard for your customers to find you. They are your biggest fans and they want to share their experience with their friends. Make it easy for them to!
If you would like to be a top performing small business with regard to your social media, then get the expertise of a local Adelaide advertising agency and simply drop us a line here or call us at 1300 733 255 and we will make that a reality for you.
Author: Kain Vodic, Digital Marketing Strategist, Adelaide.
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