Here you are, a business owner who wants to use the internet – specifically social media – to market your business. You’ve been hearing all these wonderful stories about how great it is to use social media and how so many are generating business from it. So why is it not working for you?
Social media is a tool that you use like any other marketing medium, newspaper, radio, magazine or flyer. The difference is that it’s a two way communication tool so you cannot treat it the same way you would when placing an advert in the newspaper.
When working with clients I encourage clients to treat social media as a customer support/community tool rather than a lead generation tool. Yes, it is a lead generation tool but if you treat it that way then you will miss its power which lies in the long term results of building client loyalty and brand equity. You also lose out on the data that social media has to offer. This is the fine print, what are people communicating to you between the lines. What you can learn from your existing and potential clients is priceless. It positions you to listen which then enables you to improve on your existing services or adjust yourself accordingly so you are never outdated or unwanted.
However, there is more to it. The success of your online marketing efforts is also extremely dependent on you having processes in place. If you lack the ability to sell then all the marketing in the world is not going to help you generate a profit. If your follow up process has no system, you cannot measure what is working or not working. If your touch point connections are not managed properly, what opportunities are you missing and how much business are you losing?
Marketing your business online is more than just posting an advert about what you offer. Posting adverts in social networks doesn’t always have the best results in that people generally ignore them because they are not inspirational, entertaining or educational. People join social networking sites to connect with others. To keep in touch with their friends and to meet new people.
What will you need to be doing regularly to market your business online?
The first thing to understand about marketing your business online is that it does require time, investment and commitment. Secondly a large portion of your time and money will be need to be spent on creating lots of good quality content. Not average, mediocre content and not just adverts. You will need a combination of articles, tweets, images, videos, audio and promotion content to help strangers to get to know if you are the best person to meet their needs. Now if you are not wired this way, I do recommend you hire someone who has the ability to help you get you headed in the right direction.
Not only that, you will need to be present. It is easy to spot a business that’s detached from the internet. In other words the lights are on but nobody’s home. You must be present. See your website, fan page, Twitter, all your connection points as your exhibition stand or shop. Walking into an empty shop is not a welcoming experience, be present.
Yes, developing content is a very time consuming task but it is essential, especially if you are selling a service because your goal is to get people to know more about you. You are the product. Your job is to convince people that you are the person they need.
If you look at the cost aspect of it, more likely than not you are doing it yourself, so that would be maybe 2 hrs of your time. Once published, you can distribute it to as many channels as you are allowed to and that’s plenty. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Stumble Upon, Digg, are just a few places. Then it’s there forever 24/7 to be shared and used by others. Now is that not a worthwhile investment in your business and cost effective marketing?
Here is just an idea of some of the things you will need to do on a monthly basis?
- Develop campaigns to market your business, this can be done on a 3 month cycle. I find this works best.
- Compile tweets for your Twitter stream, you will need something going out at least every hour.
- Depending on which social network you are focusing on, you will need to compile content for your Facebook, LinkedIn or Google Plus account. At minimum 3 times a day but you can get away with one. Quality is what matters.
- Send out a newsletter once a month at least.
- Create images, audios or videos regularly with interesting content to share with others.
- Schedule the content you create in various social media platforms.
- Network; network both online and offline.
I’m going to close off here with time management. I find most people fall apart when it comes to the management of social media because they don’t give it enough respect. The bottom-line is that we only do the things that matter to us. Marketing your business should be a priority and if you are not giving enough attention to social media it means that you are not taking it seriously. To gain an idea of how much time you will need, I recommend that you block off 3 hrs one day a week just to focus on the marketing of your business. In these 3 hours you can either write blog posts or you can develop a marketing campaign or you can do some audio or video.
I found from personal experience that allocating this time in your diary is a must. I found that if you don’t you get side tracked and then someone wants a meeting and another needs your attention and the marketing of your business falls behind. Give this time all your attention because the success or the profitability of your business relies on telling people you exist and this is what marketing does.
Allocate time once a week to schedule your content. Depending on the amount of content you have developed what you want to aim for is consistency and you want to be posting more than once a day. This means you will need to make time to schedule content for each social networking channel. I recommend you hire a junior admin person to help you out or you can use one of our budget retainers as this can cost you at least 15 hours of your time in a month.
Allocate 30 minutes a day, if you can’t manage this then at least 15 minutes a day to networking and monitoring. This is a must for every entrepreneur, every business owner, every coach and every consultant. You need to talk to people so they get to know you and want to do business with you, this is your networking time. Then while networking you monitor and see what people are talking about, what they are interested in, what opportunities are out there.
A colleague of mine told me she attended a business management course and in this course they told her that 80% of her time should be focussed on the marketing of her business and yet many business owners do not take marketing and even sales seriously. The attitude out there is we will give it attention when we have the time.
If there are approximately 277,000 tweets being posted every minute of every day, 4,000,000 search queries taking place on Google every minute, and approx 2 million shares each minute happening on Facebook every day then you need to ask yourself the serious question, how can I get noticed? If you rigorously time structure your involvement, you will definitely begin to make inroads. But you need patience, dedication and tenacity. You need a social media schedule – and that is something I can very definitely help you to set up!
If you would like a consultation and an assessment with me to see where you can make improvements and what you can do to gain more exposure for your business online click here and book a time slot with me.[callout type=”center” title=”Are you struggling with content and what to post in your social media channels?” message=”Would you like to learn how to create content to advertise your business online that will give you better results and more exposure!” button_text=”Click Here!” href=”https://romanythresher.com/yr-space-flight-plan/” target=”blank”]