Don’t get caught up in the hype about social media.
Social Media may be a great marketing opportunity, but it is still emerging, and most marketers have great difficulty demonstrating ROI.
The majority of marketers use social media more than 6 hours per week according to the Social Media Examiner. Yet, they have great difficulty demonstrating ROI, even when they consider their time as free.
Spending time on marketing campaigns with low or no ROI steals time away from marketing campaigns that can grow your profits.
Since marketers often cannot demonstrate real ROI (in terms of dollar and cents), they demonstrate potential opportunity: the number of fans and followers, traffic, mentions, share of voice, and sentiment. None of this pays the bills each month.
Unless and until you can convert this “follower engagement” into sales, it is a drain of your time, energy and money.
If the large companies can’t figure this out with all their money, talent, and systems, then it may not make sense for all small businesses to invest a lot in social media at this stage.
More than 90% of adults in the US are visiting social networking sites, so you’ll find your targeted prospects there.
However, there are a lot of social networking sites! There are over 178 corporate-owned social media accounts according to Marketing Pilgrim.
The biggest mistake is to join multiple social sites at once and do the minimum engagement. This is a waste of time and energy.
Pick one social networking site and develop a campaign to generate businesses.
Determine which social sites your customers regularly use. If you have social sharing buttons on your website, identify which social sites they are using to share your content. Read this article called Cost Effective Social Networking.
1/ Design a campaign that will turn “fans/followers/friends” into paying customers. Remember, every social site has its own “culture”, so your campaign needs to “fit in” with that culture.
2/ Establish an active presence on the social site and invite customers and friends to join you.
3/ Once you have determined whether you are getting good ROI or not, then you can move onto the next most promising social networking site.
Review sites can be great for product and service companies. It’s customer referrals on steroids.
Review sites can drive targeted traffic at very little investment.
1/ Find a social review site that best fits your industry and geographical coverage: Yelp, Angie’s List, Amazon, Google Shopping, eBay, etc.
2/ Follow the formula described in this Customer Case Study
LinkedIn can be a great site for business professionals and B2B businesses.
Identify LinkedIn Groups whose members include your targeted prospects, join the group discussion and determine if your contributions increase traffic to your website.
Leverage your LinkedIn connections to be introduced/referred to targeted prospects.
Purchase a Premium membership to directly contact prospects that are not in your connections. Do some research about the individual you want to contact first, don’t spam.
Try their PPC advertising. They occasionally have promo coupons, so it may be worth conducting a trial advertising campaign.
For additional insight, read LinkedIn For Business Leads
Facebook and Twitter (and potentially Google+ and Pinterest) can be great sites for B2C businesses.
Both Facebook and Twitter are starting to focus more on advertising. As usual, promo coupons are available for you to do a test routine.
Activity in Facebook, Twitter and Google+ can also help your website to rank. Both Bing and Google are using social signals in their website ranking algorithm.
Several Social Networking services are available to help you start, execute and manage your plan
Diversify your marketing campaigns to effectively manage business risk
Chapter 6 will cover Branding. To give you time to act on the above information, the link for Chapter 6 will be emailed to subscribers in a few days.