If you’re not careful, using social media to market your business could lead to social media burnout. You may spend hours on social media sites talking to friends and family and now you’re using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Google+ and any other social media site you can think to sign up to in order to promote your business. Everytime you have something to say your updating your status on all these sites and then responding to comments. Stop and ask yourself, how much extra reward are you receiving for all this extra effort?
There’s no shortcut!
This video is great because it sums up why you won’t make a living out of social media, you will make a living out of your product or service that you promote using social media.
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This video also highlights the importance of a good solid social media strategy. We often hear “I need to set up a Facebook page” or “How do I use Twitter, because I need to start using it”, to which we often ask Why? and get the response “We need to be on the bandwagon, all of our competitors are on there”. Oh dear (sigh). What businesses need to realise is that:
- You will not gain a competitive advantage by copying your competitors marketing tactics, you will always be a step behind.
- Without an objective, how will you know if the time and money you invest in social media has been worthwhile? You won’t!
- You must have a goal that social media can help you achieve.
It’s like going back to the days when people used hit counters on their website to see how many visitors they had and used that to measure how successful there site was. Then when e-commerce came along we realised that successful e-commerce sites were not necessarily the sites with the most visitors, but the sites that converted the most visitors into sales. Some people seem to have slipped back into thinking that having the most tweets or the most Facebook ‘Likes’ means they’ve done really well, when actually they should also be looking at how many of those converted into sales; only then can you know the return on your investment in social media. Before you tell me social media is free, think about how many hours you spend promoting your business through social media and multiply this by your hourly rate; this gives you an idea of how much you need to make from social media to cover your costs.
I’ve thought about it, and my business really would benefit from social media, but how do I use social media efficiently.
Good, so you have a goal and a clear plan of how social media can help you to achieve that goal. Using social media efficiently is a very sensible question, because for those that realise that their time is money, they will want to use their time on social networks efficiently and more time actually making money.
You may have seen our previous post called ‘Benefit from social media without having to maintain profiles’ where we explained how you can benefit from social media by relying on others spreading the word for you over the social networks. With a bit of extra effort, it is possible to create profiles on social media sites that maintain themselves with minimal effort. So, what exactly do I mean by this?
Let’s say you run an e-commerce website that sells garden furniture and you want to increase the traffic to your website. Your website consists of an online catalogue of products and a blog where you write gardening related articles and review products. Many of your customers use Facebook and Twitter so these are good channels to communicate with them. Here’s the trick, you don’t want to be writing things more than once! This is what steals so much time on social media sites.
Many websites will support plugins or modules that allow you to automatically post updates about new content and changes to your website to Facebook pages and Twitter. All of a sudden, you are using two social media channels and still only maintaining your website. Arguably, you are also spending the time on the valuable task of creating the content that will attract people to your site.
Social Media Aggregation
Aggregation is key! You know how you can get apps that allow you to read all of your Facebook and Twitter updates in once place? Well just think of it being like that in reverse, with a single status update going to all of your relevant social media channels.
The downside is that you are going to have to spend a bit more time planning and enlist the help of someone with the technical expertise to do it; this will be time well spent to avoid becoming burnt out as a result of social media overload.