Are you a small business owner who has jumped into social media, and you’re struggling? You’re working hard, but it just seems like you are pushing a huge boulder up a hill – and you’re not seeing results!
Well, you’re not alone. I see it all the time – business working hard to publish blogs or social media posts that are doing nothing to help the small business achieve their goals.
What is your goal?
The very first step in any social media campaign is to determine your goals. Below are some common goals I’ve seen while working with small businesses.
- Ensure a social media presence
- Communicate with customers and prospects
- Launch a new product
- Create buzz around an existing product, new product or event
- Position the company as an industry expert
A successful social media campaign can achieve all of these goals – if done well. The problem is that many businesses set these goals, yet they don’t know how to achieve them.
How will you get there?
The key to achieving the above goals is to be focused on them. Let’s take a couple of these goals and discuss in a bit more detail how to accomplish them.
Communicate with customers and prospects
This is a fantastic goal. The first step is to ask, what do my customers/prospects care about? What do they want to know that I can teach them? Remember, people don’t want to be sold to – they want to learn. They want to know how you can help solve their challenges. So … help them! When you help someone by giving them great advice or information, the reader starts to trust you — and will be more likely to buy from you in the future.
Let me add one point here of what not to do. In your quest for more likes or followers, you may be tempted to resort to some “fun” content. Let me just say, I’m all for light-hearted content, but let’s try to keep it somewhat relevant! Having lots of followers won’t do you any good unless they are the right followers – people who actually are interested in your product. For example, don’t use your company’s twitter page to celebrate national ice cream day – unless you actually sell ice cream. That may sound like common sense, but I’ve seen it done.
Create buzz around an existing product, new product, or an event
This is probably one of the most common goals I see. You can accomplish this goal in a myriad of ways – the sky is the limit! This is where you can get very creative (and use humor and light-hearted content in a constructive way.)
Let’s say you are holding an event – maybe an upcoming webinar. First determine your audience – who are you targeting? Think about where they work, their job description, their pain points – anything that may help you target your message more accurately. Then think about how this webinar can help them. Next, develop blogs or tweets that would appeal to this person, promoting the webinar by showing how it can help them.
Use your creativity. Maybe use memes as a way to infuse some humor. Maybe create a theme for the webinar and promote using that theme. Develop a plan of how you will create buzz through blog posts, tweets, Facebook, etc. Use any and all available platforms at your disposable – and them follow through!
Lastly, be realistic about your results. It takes time to develop an effective social media program – but with focused goals and helpful content aimed at the right audience, you will see results.
Getting results from social media
Social media is an excellent resource for small businesses. Just remember to stay focused on your goals. With proper focus and targeting of your audience, social media can help you grow your business by successfully connecting with customers and prospects.
If you are just beginning a social media campaign at your small business, read Starting social media at a small business? Remember the treadmill analogy. For more social media tips, read Porter Consulting’s white paper, “Get Real Results from Social Media.”
Alison Golan is a writer, social media consultant, and marketing expert with 20+ years of experience teaching technology companies how to better tell their stories. At Porter Consulting, Alison works with a team of professionals to help companies grow revenue and market share by utilizing the latest marketing and sales methodologies. To read more blogs by Alison, check out Porter Consulting’s blog site at www.porterconsulting.net.