Here’s a question that I regularly get asked by business owners about social media: “What’s the return on investment?”
The answer is simple: It’s the difference between you maintaining a competitive and relevant business and getting left behind in your competitors wake.
I’ve been a social media strategist for some time now and have seen the incredible difference that an effective social media strategy can have for businesses. It can exponentially increase traffic to your website, position you as an expert in your field and bring in tons of new leads to your business every day.
The problem is that for many entrepreneurs and business owners, the world of social media is still a murky and enigmatic one. In this article, I’m going to run through a few simple steps that I go through with my clients that will hopefully clarify the importance of social media and how you and your business can harness it.
Having a plan
It all starts with a plan. Before you start posting content, bringing traffic to your site and ultimately creating leads, you’ve got to know which direction you’re going in, otherwise you’re probably going to make mistakes, waste time and money. If you come up with a solid foundation beforehand, you’re far more likely to avoid problems and increase your chances of success.
Which social media platform is best for me?
Regardless of what your business is, or the specifics of your strategy, it always starts with doing research into your industry. It’s important to figure out at an early stage which platform works best for you and your brand. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from getting on all the social media sites, but don’t forget that managing the accounts will take time and resources. It’s better to focus on quality and not quantity. You’ll be better off having two or three top-quality channels rather than a load of poorly managed ones that make your business look bad.
Why not start with one platform and take it from there? Having researched the industry, choose a channel that you feel best reflects your business and brand. Make sure that you communicate your core values in a clear and appealing way.
Social media is pretty much around driving traffic to your website or LinkedIn page. From there, potential clients can see what you’re all about and start engaging with your business. So, in the same way that it’s important to have a well maintained social media page, you’ve got to make sure that the site where you’re directing people is impressive and a good reflection of your business. One of the first things that my team and I do when developing a strategy with a new client is to do a high-level makeover of their LinkedIn profile, because there’s no sense in bringing in traffic to a site if they’re not going to hang around once they get there.
Take a good look at your LinkedIn profile and website. Is it impressive? Would it make a visitor want to find out more about your business? Does it reflect your business’ core values in a clear and understandable way? If not, then you’ll need to give it an upgrade before launching any social media strategy.
What’s important to you?
This is one of the most vital questions I ask new clients, because in order for a social media strategy to work it has to align with the values of the business and of the business owner. For instance, there would be no sense in me creating a strategy that involved YouTube videos for a client who was lousy at public speaking. When coming up with strategies, I try to play to clients’ strengths – what are their skill-sets and how can I utilise them in social media?
When devising your social media strategy, once you have ascertained which platforms are likely to be best suited to your industry. Speak with your team and play to their strengths, if someone on your team is a great writer they could manage your blog and Facebook page. Others may be more suited to creating Youtube content. Of course if there are gaps in the skills required outsourcing is certainly an option.
Implementing your plan
Once you’ve got a solid plan you can begin implementing it. Again, this will take time. Don’t cut any corners or you’ll end up paying the price later. Make sure that all your social media output reflects the quality and values of your business and brand. And don’t be disheartened if it takes longer than you thought. Particularly if you’re going it alone and don’t have many resources, social media strategies can take a while before you start seeing the results. But once it takes off you definitely won’t regret it.
Feel free to contact the team at Web Traffic That Works to see if we can help you with your social media strategy and goals.