So you don’t work for Nike and you don’t have a few million dollars sitting around to throw at a 30-second Super Bowl commercial...don’t worry, there's still hope! Unfortunately, not every business out there has hundreds of employees and millions of dollars to spend on marketing and advertising. For small businesses and startups with limited resources, implementing the right strategies to grow your business can be a real challenge. Enter social media. Whether you’re targeting a B2b or B2C audience, social media marketing can greatly increase your online presence and eventually convert leads to sales.
For any company, social media is a great place to connect with future customers and grow relationships. However, before your business plunges into every social site, here are a few important things to consider.
Determine Your Target Audience
Before you can determine which social media sites to include in your marketing campaign, it is essential to determine whom your business is targeting. Clearly defining your target audience will allow you to adjust and tweak your marketing and advertising campaigns to reach the people or brands who are most likely to find value in your business.
In other words, if your company has limited resources, you’re better off devoting the majority of them to one thing in particular: your target audience.
Set Manageable Goals and Measure Results
With limited time and budget, setting manageable goals for your business is extremely important. Don’t expect to get 100,000 followers after a few Facebook posts and retweets. Instead, set attainable social media marketing objectives and lead generation goals that will deliver the most positive result while expending the fewest resources.
Once you’ve done this, make sure you have an efficient way to measure results. Setting goals is great, but without clear metrics in place to judge success from failure, you’re wasting time and money. Keep doing what works, tweak what doesn’t.
As long as your team (no matter what size) clearly understands what the social media marketing goals are and how they align with your overall business objectives they should be able to achieve them. And hey, it doesn’t hurt to be fun and creative along the way.
Choose the Right Social Networks
Determining the right social networks to engage with is very important, especially if you have limited resources. However, building a successful social presence takes time, and not every business has that luxury. Here are a few tricks to help you operate more efficiently.
After you determine who your target audience is, consider what factors affect the popularity of various social channels. If you’re in the B2B market, LinkedIn is a great place to concentrate your social media efforts, if you’re focused on B2C then Facebook might be the best channel for engaging. Don’t waste your time creating profiles on ten different networks, instead, start with one or two. You’ll find it’s a lot easier and more effective to have a strong presence on a couple of sites then it is managing dozens of social media sites with little or no engagement.
There are a number of web tools that save time by allowing you to engage on various social platforms at once. One of my overall favorites is Hootesuite.
Whether you work for a fortune 500 company or a ma and pa shop down the road, having an effective social media marketing strategy in place will work wonders for your brand. Determining your target market and setting goals that align with your overall business objectives is a great place start when planning a social media marketing campaign. As long as you work hard and keep at it, you will see an increase in social presence and begin to watch those leads roll in.
Don’t let limited resources rain on your marketing parade; stay focused and you’re guaranteed positive results.