Every day we hear and read success stories of business startups that have hit the big time. And sometimes we ask ourselves why our business didn’t blow up the same way. And while social media invariably plays some role in almost every business the tendency is to look at the sizzle of a business rather than the steak.
It is not uncommon for people to blame themselves for spending too little time on social so they can grow their business. How much time is needed? How often, which platforms and why am I not better at this game!?
But instead of beating yourself up (save that for the gym) the first question you need to ask is this: Am I followable? are my products and services geared for social media?
It’s easy to watch one of those celebrity kids sell a cosmetics startup for enough gold to plug the Panama Canal and question your own business faculties. But if you are a plumber or a landscaping professional don’t be too hard on yourself. People don’t follow their plumber, or their lawyer or their vet.
Now if you’ve got a passion business, social media should be a vital piece of your marketing puzzle. Wedding planners, photographers, foodies, fitness and other business that rely on the disposable income of their customers to succeed are more likely to find success on social. In the world of social media yoga pants beats septic tanks every time!
But this doesn’t mean you can’t use social media to market your business and connect with prospects.
5 things to consider:
Your sales cycle
If you are a roofing contractor your customers will be thinking about updating their home for a few months at least. They likely won’t follow you on social but they might just ask around for a reputable roofer. So your social efforts will be more about awareness than likes and retweets. So while growing a monster following on Facebook isn’t a goal you take on, making sure your company can be found on social is a great first step.
You just can’t do everything. It’s not a won’t. Your budget only has so many marketing dollars in it which means you need to choose wisely. Many businesses have greater success with paid Google ads than Social posting. As long as you track every lead that comes to your business from all sources, you will be able to make smart decisions about where to spend your marketing dollars.
Your social media habits
If hanging out on Facebook is something you already do naturally, you may be able to add a few tricks to your routine and see success. If Instagram looks like an intriguing addition for your marketing mix, set a goal to get better at it. And whatever you do, do NOT wear yourself out trying to master 5 new apps all at once.
If on the other hand, you can’t afford to spend time working your social media channels, it might be better to outsource these tasks to people who can do it better and faster than you. Don’t be fooled by the big players in your industry. Most, if not all of them have a social team behind them to keep the digital presses rolling day after day.
How are you using social to maximize your blog posting and email marketing efforts? Have you considered how each channel is doing it’s part to grow your business and in what order you should be publishing original content? Should you be directing followers back to your website or do you have a specific call to action on Facebook or Instagram so they can take the next step?
The key to success with social media is to create a content plan that reflects your business and then work that plan as best you can. But whatever social media tasks you take on, make sure you spend your time doing what you do best.