Coming up with a strategy for how you will use social media to build your following, get more subscribers, increase traffic, generate leads, etc. is a daunting task sometimes. It’s crossed my mind one or two thousand times, “Is this really necessary?”
Yeah. It is.
Don’t get me wrong. My goal is not to avoid social media. We’ve all heard that social media is important. As of this writing Mark Zuckerberg is a twenty-something go-zillionaire (as Forrest Gump would say), so we know that there’s definitely something to social media. It’s essentially become non-negotiable for your blog and your business. But to get some perspective on its effectiveness, let’s look at some real numbers published in the 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report by Social Media Examiner.
- 90% of marketers are using social media for their businesses
- Of those marketers, 88% say that social media has generated exposure for their businesses
- 72% of marketers say that the use of social media increased traffic to their site or increased the number of subscribers
- More than half of them indicated that social media generated qualified leads
Social media works and it’s clearly not the enemy. But it’s often misappropriated. If your social media strategy is not producing the results you expected, I’ve got a few ideas why that may be so.
Lack of SM Strategy – No goal is accomplished unless it’s been set. Your social media efforts should have purpose as well. Identify your goals for utilizing social media and use that as a guide to define how you manage your campaign. Are you using social media to drive traffic to your blog? Sell information products? Get subscribers? Whatever you wish to accomplish with social media, have a clear understanding of those goals and use that information to tailor your campaign.
Time Management – Social media marketing requires a time investment. According to Social Media Examiner, more than a third of marketers invest more than 11 hours per week on social media (invest, not play Mafia Wars). If you’re blogging, you may be investing another hour or two into researching and writing every time you publish a post. Use automation tools, subscribe to various RSS feeds in your niche so that you don’t have to spend so much time combing the web for information. And make sure that the time you’ve allocated for social media management is used for social media management.
SM & Business Strategy – The two should absolutely positively go hand-in-hand. Yes, you should provide an interesting perspective when you blog, but it should be an interesting perspective on a topic within your niche. Your content should mirror your business values and your social media strategy should support your business strategy.
Attempting to be omnipresent – Social omnipresence is a waste of time. It is almost guaranteed that you will receive more of a response from certain SM platforms and less of one from others and that is because each social media platform has its own culture. Find your tribe. Make sure that the platforms you use reach your specific target audience. Not everyone needs your information. So aim your marketing power at the folks who are interested in your wares. Attempting to be everywhere will lead to the one thing that’s sure to kill your following and search rankings – inconsistency.
Research – Research supports the previous four items on the checklist. Research your competitors, research your market, research (and subscribe to) successful blogs in your niche, research which SM platforms are best for you. Research. Research. Research. The more you know, the better you’ll fare.
Add to the discussion below in the comments!