How to Make Social Media Less Taxing
Here are ten reasons why businesses find social media taxing and related actionable business tactics to get your social media strategy on track to succeed.
- Businesses’ social media initiatives tend to be underfunded or misallocated. While many organizations allocate marketing budget to social media, they often need additional funds to fully support their efforts. Actionable Business Tactic: In addition to content creation, include social media interaction and related website marketing in your budget. Consider every step of the purchase cycle to avoid hidden or unforeseen costs.
- Businesses are confused about the ever-increasing social media options and where to focus their attention. New social media tools continue to appear regularly and make dealing with the social media ecosphere daunting. Actionable Business Tactic: Focus social media efforts on platforms where your prospects, customers and influencers congregate. Don’t try to be everywhere. Start with two or three options and test other alternatives to find what works best for you. Additionally, stake out your name on all new social media platforms to protect your brand.
- Business management still doesn’t get social media. While social media’s been around for a while, many senior executives don’t interact on it despite the fact that their prospects expect it. However, research shows that small business owners use social media to communicate with their target market more than large firms. Actionable Business Tactic: Get your senior team active on social media. This doesn’t mean being on Facebook for hours. Instead strategically interact. If President Obama and Vice President Biden can engage with the public on social media, so can your CEO. Think in terms of a weekly video, blog post or Google hangout. The goal is to humanize your business and its management team by having them speak in their own voice.
- Businesses underestimate the need to feed their social media initiatives with content. Social media requires a regular diet of your organization’s content as well as curated offerings of other entities. Actionable Business Tactic: Plan each piece of content to ensure that you’re able to create and present the information optimally on social media. This means creating tailored offerings based on the platform.
- Businesses can’t just do the same thing as they did the previous year with minor tweaks as they do with other forms of marketing. Social media is constantly changing and evolving so that social media presentations, content and advertising need to as well. Additionally, unlike traditional media, marketing promotions tend to wear out faster on social media. Actionable Business Tactic: Integrate your social media activity into your overall promotional plan to ensure that you’re maximizing social media effectiveness. Streamline your content creation by using an editorial calendar and determining how you’ll present the content differently across social media platforms.
- Businesses focus on social media as another marketing distribution channel. While social media is useful for spreading your marketing and branding message, restricting your social media communications to promoting your organization is a big social media no-no. Actionable Business Tactic: Use a ratio of ten interactions about others to one interaction about your firm on social media. Where possible avoid the use of explicit promotional messages. Instead share content and other information about your organization.
- Businesses must understand that social media is a many-to-many conversation. As a result, you must consider what others are saying on the platforms where you’re engaged. This includes your prospects, customers, competitors, influencers, media and the public. Understand that customers expect quick responses to their inquiries on social media while many firms ignore these requests. Actionable Business Tactic: Determine how your business will engage on each social media platform. For example, consider how you’ll answer customer questions, handoff sales leads and handle negative feedback. This also involves a plan for getting requests ariving via social media into your internal business processes.
- Businesses view social media as a time sink. Social media is a black hole for many organizations since it can appear the employees tasked with engagement are just updating their own personal Facebook pages. Actionable Business Tactic: Plan your firm’s social media engagement so that it’s coordinated across your organization. This is particularly important for small businesses where time is their most precious resource. Engagement time should be allocated separately from content creation. Where relevant, let your social media audiences know when you’re available on those platforms. In other words set expectations for them.
- Businesses require new skills to handle social media. Social media changes how marketing, sales, customer service, legal, PR and human resources do their jobs. Actionable Business Tactic: Map out how social media touches each of the various components of your business. Think through social media content, engagement, and internal processes that don’t appear to be part of social media. Don’t underestimate the need to get your human resources and legal teams involved to set guidelines, and offer training.
- Businesses can’t show a return on their social media investment. Most marketing executives view social media as a means to improve consumer engagement. The problem with this approach, especially as social media budgets increase, is that marketers need to show a measurable return on social media investment (aka ROI). Actionable Business Tactic: Increase the measurability of your organization’s social media by driving prospects to targeted landing pages related to your engagement. Use contextually relevant calls-to-action and a means to track your results. These activities are easiest to do using a blog.
To make your business’ social media efforts less taxing, plan your activity and integrate it with the rest of your marketing. This will enable you to streamline your processes. Additionally, incorporate social media across your entire business.
What areas of social media has your organization found most taxing and why?
Join me at Social Media Marketing World this coming Spring in sunny San Diego, California, where I'll be presenting a session on Blogging.
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