Let’s start with the conclusion. You probably shouldn’t be marketing your small business with social media how you are doing it now, and possibly not at all.
Much of the perceived value from Social Media marketing comes from systems like “likes” and “follows”. We’ve been taught to believe these are a measure that our business is being successfully marketed, so we spend a lot of both physical and emotional time trying to improve them.
It can become an unhealthy addiction when so much energy goes into something that isn’t working, when we could be investing our time in strategies that do work.
It’s good practise to ask new customers how they found you. Most of us do this already to help analyse which marketing campaigns are working. The overwhelming feedback from business owners of websites that we manage at Dygiphy is that almost none come directly from social media marketing.
How do you measure Social Media Marketing Success?
Sales. It’s that simple.
Likes and Follows don’t earn money, sales do, so unless the likes and follows lead to a phone call or visit to your website they are not helping.
Social media posts also have a positive effect on your search rankings as they provide backlinks to your website. This benefit alone can be a good reason to keep your social media marketing channels up to date even if they don’t drive sales, however not if the process is taking too much time away from running your actual business. I discuss ways this can be automated later.
Ask Yourself How You Interact with Social Media Marketing
I personally have never used a service or bought a product that I saw directly marketed on social media.
However, I have followed the referrals of friends and family that mention in social media they have had a good experience. In fact, I have used social media to actively ask for a referral when I don’t know who to use.
I don’t blindly follow the likes and shares that I see from my social media friends unless there is some substantive benefit that is explained in the post.
How do you personally allow yourself to receive social media marketing. Do you like and follow McDonalds? What about Netflix? Regardless of how much you do or don’t like an individual company, you are unlikely to want your news feed flooded with marketing from these companies. What value do you think your customers would gain from seeing your posts in their news feed?
Social Media Marketing Can Be Used Successfully For Word Of Mouth Referrals
If you have a happy customer, ask if it’ OK to create a post about their experience and (if possible) tag them in or ask them to share it so it goes to their newsfeed and that of their friends. Try and include a photo if possible that encapsulates the product or service.
This type of post is a public endorsement of your small business by a happy customer. It’s a very powerful word of mouth referral, and the feedback from Dygiphy customer’s is that it’s the type of social media marketing post most likely to lead to a sale.
This is an example of “added value” social media marketing – more on this later.
Your Small Business Website Should Be Doing Most of the Social Media Marketing Work
I am currently writing this post in Microsoft Word. It has spell checkers and other tools that make authoring easy.
When I’m finished, I cut and paste it into a post using Dygiphy’s WordPress based website blog. This will take about 5 minutes. The website will then automatically push that post as a link to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook (and once upon a time Google+).
The post will then appear in the newsfeed of those pages as a photo, heading and summary description that when clicked on will open on the blog page on my website. That person has now left Facebook (or other) and arrived on my website where I hope they will browse further.
My website will also automatically join together a selection of my posts each month and generate an email-based newsletter and push it out to all my subscribers and customers. I won’t have to do anything to make this happen except write the post.
I will then be able to analyse the traffic that was generated by the post, including which channel it came from, to understand how valuable it was, and what other pages were visited on my website as a result of the post.
None of that is possible if you post directly to your social media channels, as the content and traffic is not on your website.
Social Media Marketing Should Drive Traffic to your Website
What is the point of using your brand to drive traffic to Facebook if it doesn’t result in a sale? This is the greatest con of the social media age – you create content that keeps people engaged on the Facebook site so that Facebook users see more of their paid advertising from other companies!
There are two ways you can post to social media sites, directly or with links.
When you post directly to Facebook, you upload the photo and any text directly to the Facebook site. When clicked on, the post opens in a page on Facebook. When the reader is finished, they will go on to read the next post in their feed, which presumably is unrelated to your business.
When you post as a link, you don’t have to upload the photo or text separately, Facebook will analyse the linked page and do that for you. When the post is clicked, the reader will leave the Facebook website and open that linked page – presumably on your website. If your website is well designed, they will then be presented with other relevant content on your site which they will go on to read.
Hopefully some of these “warm leads” from social media marketing will result in sales.
Social Media Marketing Should Add Value, not Flog Products and Services
What do you think of this post you are reading? If you have read this far then it has probably added value to what you are trying to do with your business.
This is an example of a post that attempts to add value rather than just create brand awareness. It’s content that tries to keep the customer in mind. My hope is that it creates good will with my customers, establishes some level or trust in Dygiphy’s expertise, and increases the chance that you will use our services or refer us to others.
Different business’s posts can add value to their customers in different ways. In general, it is about pitching to the interests of your customer base and trying to develop engagement and good will by giving back.
Dygiphy can help you with your specific social media strategy as well as technology solutions that aim to reduce the amount of time you spend on digital media. Call us today for a no obligation discussion about your needs.