How do you promote your company online? Are you trying to be active on LinkedIn? Do you send some tweets now and then? Do you struggle to be consistent with your blogging? As an entrepreneur you can easily feel that your social media marketing is lacking coherence. This is not only unsatisfying, but ineffective as well.
How can you become more consistent and focussed with your social media marketing? In this blog I will explain which questions you could ask yourself to be successful the coming year.
1.Determine your company objectives
What turnover do you want to get at the end of the year? How much do you expect to realize via existing customers? How many new clients do you need? What other objectives do you want to achieve? Would you like to make your company more visible amongst specific target groups? Would you like to emphasize certain aspects of your services more than you did in the past year? Make your goals explicit and steer your communication efforts in the direction of these goals.
2. Be clear on the services you want to offer
Each service that you offer should be linked to a need of your customers and potential customers. If you have clarity about the problems you solve for your clients, you have enough input for your social media marketing. Each customer question can be a subject for your blog. And each blog can be translated into different messages on LinkedIn or Facebook.
3. What social media channels do your (potential) customers use?
I assume that you know who your potential customers are. If not, then you have to get clarity on this first. LinkedIn is an effective platform if you focus on b2b customers. However, Facebook can be of interest for b2b marketing as well. Worldwide, there are over 1.55 billion monthly active Facebook users. In the Netherlands more than 6.6 million people use Facebook on a daily basis. Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter can be beneficial too, all depending on your type of business, marketing goals and time available.
Which platforms do you need to understand better in order to gain better results? Do you need extra training in certain areas of online marketing?
I have experienced that it is hard for small and medium sized companies to promote your company on many platforms at the same time if you don’t know the dynamics of the different platforms. Only once you know how to build relations and generate leads via LinkedIn, move on to Facebook for your b2b marketing. Before you know it you are busy on all platforms, without gaining real results.
4. Determine which platforms you would like to use and how often to publish
How much time and resources do you have available and how much exposure do you need to achieve your goals? The number of new customers you want to attract, determines how many new contacts you need to establish. Which consequences does this have for your social media marketing in terms of frequency of posts, new connections and interactions? If your company provides coaching and training programmes, you probably need a steady stream of new clients. Then Facebook marketing could help you to reach a wider audience, in addition to LinkedIn.
5.Make a planning
Which themes would you like to discuss in your blog posts? How often do you want to blog? How many posts per week would you like to publish on LinkedIn and Facebook? Which other channels do you want to use the coming year? How many of the contacts you will establish through social media, will you give a follow up by phone or email? Make a planning of all these activities.
Using social media to acquire new customers does not mean that you don’t have to pay attention to your offline communication. I would recommend to include activities like networking in your planning as well.
The better you plan your activities, the easier it will be to do what needs to be done, even during busy times.
6. Create a content calendar
If you know which themes you would like to discuss then translate these into smaller subjects and create a calendar showing when you will publish on what topic. You can also include in which formats you would like to publish your content: through blogs, visuals, video, etc.
7. Monitor the results
It is important to monitor and evaluate your activities on a regular basis. This enables you to adjust your activities when needed. Learn from the statistics shown in google analytics and the insights you get from Facebook and LinkedIn. These show you how many views your blogs have received and which posts do well on Facebook and LinkedIn for example.
What about you? Is your plan for 2016 ready for execution?