Make social media work to your advantage
While the proper use of social media can drive highly targeted traffic to websites, build brand awareness, improve conversion rates and provide valuable marketplace insight, many small business owners can't seem to make it work. Is there any way to turn things around for the better? Well, fortunately, there is. But first, it’s important to understand why most social media efforts fail.
A Recipe for Failure – Why Do Most Social Media Efforts Fail?
According to the results of a survey conducted by Manta, a social network for small businesses, about 61% of small and medium sized businesses fail to produce any positive results from their social media efforts. How does this happen?
There are three basic reasons why small and medium sized businesses fail to produce positive results from their social media engagement: many simply dive in without any plans, most don't bother with putting a strategy in place and others don't have any ideas on how to measure the results. If this describes the way you handle your social media engagement, you may never get anything good out of it.
Make Social Media Work for You
Despite your initial failures, you can still make social media work for you. However, you have to identify your goals, decide which platform will be most suitable for your business, put the right content that will appeal to your target market, measure your results and make the necessary adjustments. Does this sound like a lot of work? Well, it probably is – but the results are worth it!
It is also interesting to note that while 83% of marketers believe that social media can be extremely beneficial to their businesses, about a third of the respondents would like to spend less time on social media and focus on the other aspects of their business. Well, you will be glad to know that once you have a clearly defined strategy in place, you can realistically spend less than an hour a day doing your social media work and still get great results in the process. Here's how you do it:
- Manage your time. Devote 10 minutes posting on Twitter, 10 minutes on Facebook and Pinterest and another 10 minutes on LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram. You can do this by using tools that allow you to manage multiple accounts from a single platform (HootSuite, TweetDeck) and automate most of your tasks (SocialOomph, Buffer).
- Focus on your priorities. Remember, you are there to interact with your network – not to play games. Learn how to resist these temptations and you will surely get great results without spending too much of your time on social media.
- Minimize the noise. Maximize your output by filtering out the noise. Consider dropping any fans or followers who do not contribute any true value to the discussion. As your goal is to increase value to your personal brand and your business, keep focus and maintain your strategy for your ultimate goal.
Without a doubt, social media can help you take your business to the next level so take some time to understand and use it to your advantage.