What is considered success on social media these days? An army of followers? Tons of Re-tweets? Lots of Likes? Nope, nope, and nope.
Even in this new age of digital marketing, you’re still chasing a good old fashion ROI in your marketing efforts. Too many small businesses mistake activity with accomplishment—especially on social media.
Let’s take a look at how to achieve and measure your message’s reach on social media.
Don’t Mistake Fans for Customers
Figure out where the customers who actually pay you money are, then target them. You don’t want a fleet full of non-paying super fans.
Yes, there’s something to be said for other less tangible metrics. Some would argue that you can’t put a dollar value or ROI on thought-leadership, or being an authority on your industry. But some of the people following you should be buying from you. It’s that simple. Otherwise you have fans instead of customers.
Using an offline example, countless people were shocked and saddened at the death of the Twinkie. Hostess filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and announced declining sales, which meant no more Twinkies for anyone. But most of the outraged masses weren’t actually paying customers anymore. Most were hung up on nostalgia for this classic treat. So, the Twinky had lots of fans, but too little customers.
Don’t Try to Be Everywhere
A lot of small businesses launch their social media strategies by trying to be everywhere, but end up being nowhere.
Start small. Be mindful of your budget, time, and personnel resources. Figure out how much you can dedicate to 2 or 3 platforms. Stay committed to Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram. Do it well, before you branch out to something new.
Stick with proven media, instead of wasting your time on trends that may not be here next year.
“The Internet is rife with articles espousing digital trends in every shape and form: video is still going strong, IoT, live streaming and ‘super real-time,’” wrote Techcrunch’s Sara Axelrod.
“But trends are just that: trends. Today’s hottest thing is tomorrow’s old news. Google Glass anyone?”
So avoid the bandwagon and stick to the proven path, while you’re building your message and your voice.
Know the Best Practices of Each Platform
Let’s take a look at how each platform should be used, in broad strokes.
Post 1 or 2 times a day. If you do much more, you risk annoying your audience.
Post 3-5 times a day. Your message has a much shorter shelf life on Twitter, so you can post more.
Post once a day. And you should only really be concerned with LinkedIn if you’re a B2B. LinkedIn holds little value for B2C small businesses.
If you’re in the creative space, post 1 or 2 times a day, provided it’s something that your customers will actually find interesting.
This jury is still deliberating, but you can/ should be very active on Pinterest, if this is where your customers are.
“The top brands on Pinterest have experienced steady growth – and in some cases rapid or sensational growth! – by adopting a multiple-times-per-day posting strategy”, wrote Kevan Lee of The Buffer App’s research team.
Speaking of the Buffer App, we highly recommend using Buffer to plan your social media schedule and fine-tune your message. It’s free to sign up, and you can use it to schedule your activity, and even get feedback on the best time to publish your tweet, picture or message.
Interested learning more about getting your message heard? Sign up for my weekly newsletter, where I discuss marketing strategy, email, social media, and more. You’ll also receive a copy of my guide, “Three Steps to Define Your Marketing Message” as a free bonus.