When small businesses decide to take on social media, not all have a strategy or clearly defined objectives, so it becomes difficult to measure whether the social media is genuinely effective. Many run giveaways and competitions with the intention of growing likes and followers on their page. Without a doubt, that’s a great to be build a following, but businesses should be setting objectives and asking ‘why’ do we want more people following us, what do we hope to achieve, and are they the right type of people?
Refining your demographic online
Firstly you should be looking at your social networks and asking yourself, what is my objective here? It’s all well and good having a ‘successful’ Facbook page with thousands of likes (that some people are actually buying) but for what? Just to have a higher number of likes on your Facebook page?
When it comes to Facebook, you need to ideally establish what your primary objective is. Is it either brand exposure via promotion and competitions or refining your demographic of followers so that they are more applicable to your business? An extreme hypothetical example that I use is that you might be a company selling Ice and all of your followers are eskimos, it might be worth you refining your demographic so that your followers and subscribers are an audience that are actually in need of your products or services.
You might ask how is it possible to concentrate your audience online so that it’s more relevant to your services. You can do this through methods such as running offers that relate to your services or products so that it will attract people already using the same or similar product or service. This way you will know that they are interested and find the product/service relevant to their interests; therefor being receptive to future promotions and offers you might run. You can also try discounts for Facebook followers exclusively.
Running competitions is fine, it gets you brand exposure, generates some buzz on your social networks but it can attract a wide variety of users, some of which will never use your products or services because for whatever reason, it doesn’t fit their needs. If you have a product or service that can be applicable to anyone for the most part, then running competitions may be better for you as you are reaching a big pool of people, most of which are going to be in some point in time in need of that product or service.
It’s not all about likes
All too often business owners think of social media ‘likes’ and don’t look into page effectiveness beyond that. Likes are, for the most part, meaningless unless you have an audience that you can sell or relate to. Of course, there are other objectives you may have such as having your social media pages to provide customer support and interaction or just maintaining an online presence for your company. Both of these are fine.
There is no right and wrong when it comes to your social media approach as long as you form your objectives and stick to them without being blinded by the ‘more likes the better’ mentality. Of course likes are great but you need to dig a little deeper to really start to fully utilise the reach and targeting that Facebook and Twitter can offer. And don’t forget to measure your results to ensure that you are benefitting from the social media activity, even if this is a soft benefit such as improved customer service or helping potential customers to gain more confidence in your brand. These can be difficult to measure but it is possible by asking questions and performing surveys. If it’s not delivering positive results, try a new strategy.
Image credit – comedy_nose
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