The very first time I attempted to make bread from scratch, I ended up creating a sticky glob of dough that just stuck to my grandparent’s worktop. It was a disaster.
Thankfully, I was by myself in their house and successfully cleaned it up before they got home. They never did find out about it!
Oddly enough, my first experiences with social media as a professional were quite similar to my escapade with the bread. I stumbled into a huge, amorphous mess and decided it was worth it to get my hands dirty. Once I’d figured out how to clean things up, things started making sense. In fact, I found out that I liked social media.
So here’s some more advice for you so you don’t have to deal with the same mess I did.
11) Social media should drive traffic to your website, not the other way around
The apt metaphor here is “don’t put the cart before the horse”. Your website should be the workhorse of your online presence. Its job is to draw people in, educate them, and drive sales for your business.
Social media, on the other hand, is where the heavy load of engaging your audience happens. I’ve talked about engagement on social media a lot, but I honestly can’t stress it enough. If you’re actively engaging and soft-selling your business, it should result in more people visiting your website.
Think of it this way: why would you design a site that directs people to your social media in hopes that once they’ve discovered your social Media expertise they’ll come back to your site and buy something? It’s a self-defeating cycle. People are already on social media, your job as a business is to get them from social media to your website.
If you need help setting up your social profiles then this checklist should prove useful.
12) Social media sites are different, so different strategies are needed for different platforms
The number one principle of public speaking is audience analysis. Social media isn’t exactly speechwriting, but the number one principle remains the same. Ask yourself some of these questions about your social media:
- What is my audience really interested in?
- Does this platform cater to these interests?
- Why are my customers here?
- Why should they listen to me?
- How can I best engage with them?
If the platform you’re using provides inadequate means to best answer these questions, you should consider another option. There are hundreds of social sites, and somehow they all manage to be unique in their approach. Your customer bases’ age, sex, and interests all play a role in what platforms they spend most of their time on.
Don’t just rely on major social media sites because it’s what everyone else is doing. Do what’s right for your audience and your message.
13) Social media won’t work if you set and forget it
Sometimes people treat Social Media marketing like telemarketing. They try to interrupt their potential customers with short salesy messages over and over again.
No one enjoys getting an automated phone call from a company they’ve never expressed interest in, much less heard of. Can you imagine if PPI sales messages kept showing up in your newsfeed? Annoying!
“Do Not Call” lists are a blessing for that reason. Yet somehow there are professionals out there who have decided that automated social media is the new norm, as if it’s somehow magically different. It’s not.
The modern “Do Not Call” list is simply every individual who unfollows or refuses to follow your social media efforts. People can tell when communication lacks heart. Repeated ads and one-liners are sure-fire methods to destroy your social efforts. If you’re not putting time, effort, and personality into you social media, then why are you doing it at all?
14) Social media is easy to get distracted on – keep a work mentality when using it for work
According to a study done by Microsoft that was reported on in 2015, the average human attention span has dipped to approximately 8 seconds. If you’ve made it this far in my post, congratulations.
The true purpose of that interesting tidbit is that it is very, very easy to get distracted these days. It can be very tempting to check out cat videos on YouTube or troll through your friends’ Facebook pics of their trip to Ibiza, but if you are on social media for work, focus on work. Have conversations with purpose. Be chatty, but remember why you are there.
15) Social Media Marketing is never free – count your time spent on it compared to paying a professional
The only thing it costs to set up a social media account is some time and personal information. The cost to maintain a social media account is a lot of your time and way more of your attention than you can probably spare.
Your focus should ultimately be on your business. If you’re running your own social media accounts on top of everything, try clocking your hours spent on what you post. If you’re doing it right, chances are high that you’re spending way too much time away from the day-to-day of your business.
When done right, social media can reap huge benefits, but it can also take up huge amounts of time. That alone makes it worth it to hire a professional’s help.
Stay tuned for our final instalment in our series!