By John Joe McGinley, ideas and action planning consultant, Glassagh Consulting
It is key to ensure you use social media effectively to drive people towards your website where you can then promote your value proposition and sell that to existing clients and new customers.
I’m old enough to remember when a cutting edge marketing communications tactic was to ensure that your business always began with an ‘A’ to maximise your presence in the golden pages!
57% of small businesses have realised this and are now actively using social media, with Facebook being the favourite medium, just ahead of LinkedIn or a company blog.
Research has shown they are doing so for a number of reasons, with the top four being:
- To increase brand awareness – 27%
- Boost sales – 15%
- Improve customer services – 11%
- Improve search engine optimisation – 7%
I would ask you. “How powerful is your social media presence and how effective is this for your business or do you even have one at all?”
As we have seen Facebook is the most popular business social medium and it has a number of benefits if done correctly but if done wrong it can have a dramatic impact on your brand and the future success of your business. So it is vital to be prepared and have a plan, no matter what social media you currently use or intend to adopt in the future.
You may have a business plan, you may have a sales plan but do you have a social media plan?
It would be sensible for any business no matter how small to have a clear roadmap that covers the following simple areas:
WHO WILL YOU TALK TO?
It is important you have a clear picture of whom you want to talk to on social media. The more you know about them the better you can target your messages to them. It is sensible to define a series of segments and create personas that bring them alive for you and everyone in your business.
Once they are real to you then it is easier to identify what are their social media preferences, what are their needs, wants and desires and how best your business can meet them. The ultimate aim for your social media presence is that you think like them and talk like them.
You can then use social media to begin a dialogue to communicate the right message to the right people at the right time.
So it is vital to be prepared and have a plan, no matter what social media you currently use or intend to adopt in the future
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?
Social meeting should not be either a hobby or a chore for any business; it should be an integral part of your strategy to drive your business forward. As such, you should define your social media goals, are they to:
- Create brand and/or product awareness
- Build a community
- Stay front of mind with clients until they need you
- Generate traffic to your website
- Build new partnerships
No matter what they are, they should all have one ultimate aim in mind: to increase sales either from existing clients or from new customers.
Once you have your goals, you can then concentrate on identifying the best strategy to help you achieve them.
Remember these should not be set in stone. You need to review and revise as needed and once you find something that works keep at it whilst always looking to improve what you do.
You also need to be clear on what mix of social media you will use. If I could only give you just one piece of advice it would be don’t do it all but do what you can well.
And if you do social media well, it won’t matter if your called Aardvark productions or Zebra solutions, as you won’t need that golden pages anymore – well, not the paper one.
Photo (above): Franco Bouly
About the blogger
John Joe McGinley is passionate and highly motivated marketer and business change consultant with over 29 years’ experience working with businesses helping them with marketing, business change and social media.
After many years working in the UK for major life insurance companies as a business consultant, he has relocated to Ireland with his family and is in the process of establishing his own social media and business change consultancy in the heart of the Donegal Gaeltacht, Glassagh Consulting.