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Our Weekly Social Media Marketing Activity: Is it Really Time Well Spent?
I’ve long argued that social media is great for business and is a powerful networking tool. It helps to strengthen brand awareness and injects fresh leads into your sales funnel. So social media marketing is the best thing to happen to your marketing and your website for decades… or is it?
Do you ever stop to think about whether it’s working?
- Do you measure its success?
- Can you honestly say that the hours you spend on social media (and blogging, email marketing and SEO for that matter) are really bringing you sales?
- Did you ever stop to question why you’re even involved with social media?
- Did you (in the frenzy of keeping up) ever think to look into what social media marketing actually is and what it can, and more importantly, can’t do?
I was thinking the other day about our own marketing. I do this quite a lot!
We create a fair amount of online content and it’s important to know which channels are working and which ones are more of a waste of our time.
Every week we do the following online marketing for our business:
- We tweet at least 10 times per day each (some are scheduled through Buffer).
- We update our Facebook Page at least once a day but sometimes twice.
- We send an email to our list every Friday called the Friday Digital Roundup.
- We blog on this blog once a week and then email the blog subscribers with the link and a little intro.
- We update our business Google+ Page every day.
- We update and interact on our personal Google+ once a day or every other day.
- I post on Instagram (just for fun).
- Jo posts on Pinterest (just for fun).
- We update our personal Facebook accounts. Jo mainly shares links, and I post at least twice a day. (Apparently I’m an over-sharer!)
- We update our personal LinkedIn profiles with blogs or articles 2-3 times a week.
- We check our Google Analytics weekly.
- We also read a lot of content (before we share it).
- We read marketing books, emails from experts and attend seminars and networking events too.
… Obviously this takes a lot of time.
The email we send to our list, for example, takes time to compile throughout the week, and time to write, proofread, edit, test and schedule. It probably takes around two hours a week.
It’s a free newsletter. It’s not a pitch. We make no money from it directly but we know it’s helping to keep us in the minds of those on our email list.
Again, the blog takes around two hours to write, proofread and upload. But it creates over 80% of our website traffic and helps us rank for keywords on Google. That gives us organic traffic and potential leads and potential sales, and with Google Analytics I can improve the pages that don’t work as well.
Twitter takes up a lot of our time but it’s always been a great networking tool for us and many of our business links come from Twitter. It’s a valuable tool and well worth the time we spend. We also both enjoy it (and it’s how we met).
Our Facebook Page is a laugh. Sharing marketing tips just didn’t resonate with our audience so we just stuck to silly images of grammar and other fails. This doesn’t convert into sales or email subscribers but that’s fine, as we just want a presence on Facebook. We spend very little time doing it and Jo has a giggle with it.
Google+ is a slow burn but it does help our SEO and we spend very little time there either. That said, it is becoming a very useful tool for online training with Google Hangouts.
My personal Facebook has generated two of our best clients ever and it’s amazing how many referrals I get through there despite the personal content. I do spend a lot of time sharing my journey but I can happily say that I enjoy it and it’s worked surprisingly and unexpectedly well. Jo’s Facebook has also helped people to be educated about what we do in our business and has led to old contacts reconnecting and sending us business. It’s funny how we don’t try and things just happen, isn’t it?!
Our social media is tracked, monitored and assessed for ROT (Return On Time) constantly.
Do you know all this about your online marketing?
You really should, you know. You should always question why you’re doing anything in your business and social media is no different. Social media is often one of those tasks that’s ticked off or ignored or it’s just part of modern business that has to be done so it is…
… but without a plan how do you know what’s working?
Ask yourself: Why are you doing social media marketing?
Stop doing it if you can’t answer that with a business plan or a solid (business) reason or target.
“Because everyone else says it works” is not a good answer.
“My competitors are, so I am” is also an awful reason.
“A friend said I should, so I now spend about four hours a day on Twitter, Facebook, blogging, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, ello, YouTube and I have no idea what it all means for business but I have loads of fans” is a truly crazy way to run a business!
Clicks, likes, fans, followers, +1s and shares ain’t shit without sales
Here’s the deal. Social media marketing is not about numbers and how many people click on your cat video if you don’t put money in the till. If all you’re getting is ‘reach’ and not educating, building relationships or email lists then you’re basically dicking around on the internet!
Social media is a tool to raise your brand awareness and build relationships
Every week we make new relationships and reinforce the other ones. We’ve never really tried to sell on social media.
We’ve always just shared what we’re up to and people have taken an interest. By taking an interest they’re being educated about us and what we do. By reading our tweets and liking our Facebook they’re putting us in their mind. By allowing us some time in their busy lives they’re giving us something very special – their time.
When they’re ready, some of these fans ask us to help them – or, more often, send their colleagues to us for help. That’s how social media works… that’s how people work.
Don’t approach social media like door-to-door sales
Your online presence is more important than your real life presence because it’s accessible 24 hours a day and more importantly it’s accessible when your customer is ready to access it!
Door-to-door sales are bad at the best of times. But now we can build relationships and real connections with actual people why would we buy from someone we’d never met and someone that approached us when we weren’t in the buying position?
Why would someone we don’t know have a chance when there are other people that we know, like and trust offering us the same service?
Social media doesn’t create sales; it creates the opportunity to make sales
Don’t expect sales. Don’t run at social media with your business cards like a desperate speed networker. On social media people are just chatting. It’s the pub where everyone goes. Don’t sell. Pull up a chair and share a drink.
Social media has always been about sharing stories, experience and advice. Look at your personal timelines on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ Snapchat or whatever you use. It’s all about people. People talking and sharing with other people. Selling? Yeah that’s in the minority for a reason – it doesn’t work because people don’t want it there!
Have a plan and stop worrying about getting reach or retweets
Get a plan together for your social media marketing. Without a plan how will you know if it’s successful? If you send out a newsletter and you get a 45% open rate it’s worthless if no one clicked on your latest offer and bought it. What’s the target? Is your marketing reaching it? If not, why not and how can you?
But more importantly than that… stop getting obsessed with numbers!
Social media is rife with numbers. Followers, fans and metrics on how many people liked what you said.
Statistics on social media can be an indicator of your success – BUT…
“Don’t change what you’re posting to get more reach – adjust what you’re sharing to get closer to your targets”
Obsessing with how many people saw your last Facebook post and changing strategy to get more reach is going to get you more reach – not closer to your targets and eventual sales.
Worrying about how many followers you have on Twitter and following everyone in sight will get you more followers, but it won’t get you a targeted following to read your blog and convert into email subscribers. Keep your eye on the reason you’re tweeting in the first place.
Millions of likes, fans, RTs, +1s and all the wonders that comes with social media are just numbers if it doesn’t help your business plan. Get wise. Get a plan and adjust it when it doesn’t work.
Social media may not work for you. If it doesn’t, then stop. Put your time into something that does, like real networking or by attending events and expos.
Over to you…
Social media works for us so we keep doing it.
Is it really working for you?
I’d love to know what you think in the comments.
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