I’ve been reading one of the latest books on social media, “A World Gone Social” by Ted Coiné and Mark Babbitt. I highly recommend it for those of you who are still trying to figure out this newfangled marketing and those of you who are used to the old-fashioned or as the authors put it, “Industrial-Age” marketing.
One big discussion question is What is the return on investment (ROI) in social media?
Answer: There is no set way to determine that. It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. What are your goals and objectives?
Another questions is How do you sell on social media?
Answer: You really don’t. The big brands can do it, but they’ve built up their following and they’re working hand-in-hand with the networks in advertising and ways to get those impulse buyers to “buy now” and get them before they change their minds. It takes a solid plan, a hefty advertising budget and a staff.
Social media is a tool to accomplish several goals:
- Drive traffic to your website
- Become known as an expert in your field
- Search engine optimization (SEO) / getting on the first page of Google search
- Social amplification – getting folks to share your content with their friends
- Increase awareness and exposure
- Lead generation – it’s up to your site to capture the leads and then up to you to nurture them into sales.
- Reduced marketing costs – these are all free billboards – but if you don’t know how to use them properly, you need to invest in training. You may also need to invest in graphic designer to create quality graphics or a videographer to create quality videos.
A solid marketing plan is also key. Defining goals, your target market and the strategy you’re going to use to reach your goals.
So what are realistic goals in social media?
Again, it depends. The answer will vary depending on if you’re business to business or business (B2B) to consumer (B2C), your industry, your current customer base. If you’re starting from scratch, your goals may look something like this:
- Facebook: 30 “Likes” – after 30 likes you get insights from your Facebook fans on your business page – you get demographics: age, gender and location; you can also see what posts got the most engagement.
- LinkedIn: 50 connections on your personal/professional profiles along with a complete profile makes you an “All-Star” and you’ll come up higher in searches
- Twitter: 100 followers – after 100 followers you can analyze them with SocialBro and get demographics like what time zones your followers are in and when’s the best time to tweet? You can also use SocialBro in combination with HootSuite to schedule out posts and tweets. Here’s a video to show you how that works.
- Google+: 100+ active followers — you are engaging with each other — liking, sharing, commenting — you will be rewarded by Google by improving your search results ranking by 14 spaces! The more active you are on Google+, the faster Google will index links posted as “Public” in the Google search engine! You cannot ignore Google+!
It takes a lot of time and effort to build a following.
If you put in 90 minutes a day for 1 month, you should reach those goals. Once you’re following is built, it builds momentum and each “milestone” should become your next set of goals. As long as you keep feeding them content that they like, your following will grow and that social amplification will kick in.
Sites statics and analytics can provide another set of goals.
- Page views – the more often you blog and share it on social media, the more traffic you will drive to your site. This should increase if you consistently put out good content.
- Referral sources – knowing which networks are driving more traffic to your site is crucial in setting your strategy and tactics for the next months. Increasing the number of referrers from either of the networks is your next goal.
- Most popular posts – tell you what type of content is most popular with visitors to your site. Keep feeding them and they will keep coming!
You need a solid marketing plan before you jump in and part of that is defining your target market – a SCORE mentor can help you with that for free! Click here to schedule a mentoring session.