All too often, we all hear that our businesses should be on or doing more on social media. Don’t buy into the hype. There are so many options and many times we are seeing businesses simply jump in. With all the options within the social media world, how do you keep on strategy? Here are some quick tips on using social media effectively.

Build your strategy first
Like any other kind of marketing opportunity, social media requires a strategy/plan. Many companies are getting into social media and they have not defined who their target audience is, how they are going to attract an audience, what they are going to message/market to that audience, who is going to run it and be held accountable or where (which) of the social media channels they will use. Everything sounds good on the front end, but when nothing comes from the actions then you are left saying that social media did not work. The fact is you need to have a plan and set goals like you would with any other media and having a strategy allows everyone to look forward and say “this is how we are going to use the tool” and look backward and determine if it was a success.

Focus your energy
Determining which social media channels to use is important because you can attempt to do everything, but really…are you going to do it? Attempt to uncover where your audience is and choose to do fewer options not more. No one is judging your firm because you are not on Pinterest, especially if there is no reason for you to be on Pinterest. If you are business-to-business then LinkedIn makes perfect sense and they are many ways you can make the most of the tool. If you are trying to attract people to your firm, then Facebook is a fantastic way to attract an audience so be sure to use the tool for its designed purpose by displaying your firm. If your messaging can be carried thru video then obviously YouTube is for you and if you are product oriented or your message is graphical then Pinterest maybe a great place to allow people access to your brand. Just keep in mind that someone needs to manage all of this because social media is an active media and it is not the place to put up and then simply shut up. Focus. Focus. Focus.

Avoid Nonsense…Be Real
Showing your firms personality does not mean be ridiculous. Genuine moments work, but staged just for “social media moments” are going to go nowhere. Items that just don’t seem to belong stand out in the worst way. No one believes it is genuine and no one says “look how much fun they are having.” Company picnics and events are great. Community events are fantastic.  Made for “social media moments” are bad. If you are attempting to create a “gone viral” moment for your company, then you are probably trying too hard and will turn off the audience. There are many great ways to emphasize your firm without creating nonsense that will not produce any tangible results.

Like all media, the key to success is having your message out in the audience consistently. If you know what your audience wants from your firm then give them as much of it as you can. The more frequent you can produce quality pieces, the better you will do. Build a schedule and stick to it, build content and deliver it.

Converting visitors is the metric
Likes, Friends, Fans and Followers are the first of many important metrics, but when you think those are the end as opposed to the beginning, then you are off the path. The purpose of your efforts is to convert your visitors into tangible business. Turning back to your strategy, you’ll see why they want you and providing your visitors with clear conversion capabilities will demonstrate if you have provided them with something of value. Dedicated landing pages, tracking tools and focused efforts will determine if your social media is delivering the audience.

Revisit your social media and look straight at your strategy to see what the plan was and determine if you are being successful. If you don’t have a strategy then quickly build one. Review the executions to see if you are creating noise or actionable marketing. If noise, then stop it.

Brands matter, but not without ROI!

Five Social Media Takeaways:

  1. You must have a strategy to be successful
  2. Focus your energy on what you can do and be happy with it
  3. Don’t fall into creating nonsense…you are not really doing anything
  4. Be as frequent and consistent as possible with what your audience wants
  5. Convert your visitors to opportunities

About S.J.Hemley Marketing
S.J.Hemley Marketing is a marketing and sales consulting firm focused on driving tangible results for professional services firms. Brand matters, but not without ROI. With over 20 years of sales and marketing experience within staffing and recruiting, we have helped to drive successful branding, sales training, lead generation activities as well as defining marketing strategy for top organizations.