Social media marketing. The statement alone can send a shiver down the spine of some businesses whether they be small, medium, or large multinational corporations.
Some organisations have thrown themselves straight into the social media pool without any strategy whatsoever, some are dipping their toes in and testing the water, some are completely against having any involvement at all, and some are running a very good race!
So what does the social media marketing space mean for you as a business at present, and what might it look like going forward?
First of all, social media marketing should be treated and approached in the same fashion as all other marketing activities, i.e. it should be well planned, should have a clear set of goals and or KPI’s associated, should have a clear budget, and should have the appropriate resources assigned to manage / conduct the activity.
It is important to remember that although the majority of applications are free to use, your time, or the staff that you have assigned to manage your campaigns time is not. You need to ensure that your marketing budget accounts the time spent on these planned activities. As all business owners know time is money.
Choose which applications that you as a business wish to establish a presence on. Not all platforms may be suitable to your business. Conduct some research on the different platforms available, age demographics, average household finance situation of user groups, etc and marry these against your own customer demographics, CRM profiles.
Make sure you know why as a business you are looking to grow in the social media space and set some goals that you want achieve, i.e. are you looking to increase revenue, drive / build brand recognition, etc.
So how does the social media space look for business at present?
If you’re looking to really drive new prospects and lead generation you may be disappointed. Some of the larger multinationals who already have a strong established brand throughout world markets continue to extend their share of wallet with social media campaigns, but for small to medium businesses, social media really kicks the biggest goals in terms of building brand recognition, brand loyalty and extending customer service avenues to new and existing customers through additional two way communication channels.
That being said, social media is essential for businesses of all sizes (with the caveat being that businesses still plan their marketing appropriately as detailed above) and will represent a channel for driving additional revenue.
In the interim, if you are still finding your feet on social media or are planning your entry into the social media waters, remember some final points.
- Social media is exactly that. Don’t look to automate your involvement where possible. Be a real person and communicate directly with your customers and prospects. Automated responses are like voice response systems, i.e. press 1 if we have just lost your business.
- Marketing in this space is the same as all other forms of marketing. Don’t just hire someone to manage your campaigns because they are ‘good at using Twitter & Facebook’ and or ‘has a lot of followers’. Make sure whatever resource you hire or allocate to your campaigns understands your products and business and that you are confident can represent your brand in the best light possible.
Looking to build your presence on social media and beyond? Speak to us today for help with digital marketing.