In my early days as a social media manager, it was an uphill struggle. My clients didn’t know what a successful campaign looks like and we clearly had differing views on the results that were important. Most of my small business clients were happy with just growing their likes and followers, but they didn’t know how to link it to meaningful business goals.
Today social media may seem quite saturated, and many have ditched the idea to include it into their strategy. The reality is that much haven’t changed where getting results from social media is concerned.
A very popular quote puts it this way: “If you get bored with social media, it’s because you are trying to get more value than you create.” – Fast Company
Define then Deliver
The age of social media accommodates the inbound marketing approach that leads with value first. You should be willing to engage your audience with the answers they need to meet their most pressing needs. Not only will you first need to define your target audience or buyer persona to learn about their needs, but you’ll also need to find out how they consume the information that you are about to share.
Not all Social Sites are Right for Your Business
Everyone you know in business may be on Twitter, but it may not be right for your business bearing in mind that it takes an investment of time and therefore money to maintain. Once you make an informed decision of the platforms that are right for your business, you need a system in place to maximise your efforts on those platforms.
This system will serve to build a targeted audience of well-engaged prospects. But like with every marketing process, you should be able to improve on previous efforts so you can become better and better.
Here's my ROAAARS Social Media Management System:
I used this seven points system for managing the social media campaigns of all my clients. You can adopt them for your use too.
Respond: You may have heard that social media involves 2-way conversations and this is truer since more struggle to get attention online. Once you get a meaningful engagement checklist together, it won’t take more than ten minutes a day to connect with your prospects.
Optimise: Ensure that your content is fully relevant to each platform and audience. Pay attention to image sizes making sure they look professional in your feed. Don’t overuse hashtags or Emoji on platforms like LinkedIn. This content optimisation process takes time but will add depth to your content and set you aside from the noise online.
Action: Carry out activities on your account that are proven to influence audience growth. They usually include: to follow others of interest where about 10% will reciprocate. You will also need to like and comment on other peoples’ content. Research or ask your social media manager about automation tools that you can use to grow your audience.
Advice: Social media changes faster than small business owners can keep up. Find a way to be kept in the loop with social media best practices so that you can make informed decisions about your campaign. Your social media manager should know all the best practices to help you make informed choices about your effort.
Audit: Each month, you should assess your accounts and look for ways to improve your campaign strategy. What could be enhanced? How can you become more efficient? Where did you go wrong/right? etc.
Report: Keep an easy to understand report that you can also analyse very quickly. You need to record metrics like impressions, site traffic, Klout score and audience growth. However, also remember to link to more meaningful business goals such as leads and sales.
Share: You should share content on your social media pages to match the need or even the behaviour of your audience. For instance, people on LinkedIn are less likely to click on a link than those on Twitter. Therefore, leverage the additional text allowance on LinkedIn to share an extended value-added update.
There is no magic bullet when it comes to social media management. A full-service campaign is a full-time job so as a small business owner, ensure that you have some essentials in place to get the best return on your investment. For instance, help your social media manager to understand your prospects better, give them ideas for content, clarify whether the content creation is included in the agreement and exercise patience to see the results.
The opportunity still exists to get results from your social media efforts, but you may need to take a step back to think about it differently and then try again.