It is becoming increasingly apparent that having an active, managed online presence is a great way to increase awareness of your company and the products or services you offer. However, before you employ a member of staff to handle your digital marketing or outsource it to a specialist company, it is important to establish your aims and objectives for your business’ social media use.
Unfortunately, the ‘viral’ nature of some online content has had a negative impact on many companies and their understanding of how social media works. A seemingly random video, image, status update or tweet may occasionally ‘go viral’, gaining lots of views, shares and comments over a short period of time, but unless carefully orchestrated, this kind of attention rarely converts to real world sales or new contacts. The important thing to focus on with ‘viral media’ is the content being shared; businesses don’t tend to sell witty comebacks and cute animal videos.
The internet is rife with success stories from individuals and businesses who struck unexpected social media gold. Less easy to find are tales from the millions of individuals and businesses that have tried and failed to make social media work for them.
Social media should be approached with a similar mindset to SEO work; it’s a long term strategy to build authority and trust, not a quick way to increase leads. It’s a marathon rather than a sprint and even then, without significant investment, returns may only ever be modest. Therefore, it is important to first set realistic expectations for your digital marketing spend.
A limited budget needs to be invested wisely. If you commit to a three month SEO campaign for your new website and expect to see tangible business leads or customer enquiries by the end of the campaign, you will not achieve your goal, especially if your target keywords are the same as those that established national or global brands already dominate.
The same goes for outsourcing your social media account management. If you expect an engaged social following numbering in the thousands that is ready to buy from you within a short period of time, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
Social media marketing is a way to build your brand and manage your business’s online reputation and should never be treated as a direct sales tool. If you want to increase your inbound enquiries and job leads, a paid search or paid social campaign will serve you better, quicker and will get you the outcome you desire.
A consistent, robust social media strategy takes time to build, establish and needs to be constantly adapted, tweaked and improved. Growing your following on Twitter by at least 10 accounts each week is an achievable goal, as is increasing your website traffic by sharing links to your new blog content on your company Facebook Page. If you are careful to set realistic, achievable goals for your social media use, you will avoid disappointment and may even end up with a cost effective way to manage your online reputation, handle customer requests and underline your industry authority.
If you would like help establishing your company’s presence on social media, the digital marketing team at Say Hello Hello can help. Whether you need advice on the best platforms to use or would like to tidy up your existing profiles, contact us today and Say Hello Hello to a better future for your business.