Does your social media marketing leave you feeling like you can barely keep up? Do you feel overwhelmed by every new platform and tactic, every new app update and image filter? Don’t worry, you are not alone.
Entrepreneur or not, we’re all grappling with information overload, and social media presence is a huge culprit.
Consider all the decisions you face when using social media marketing to build your business. You can work on paid traffic, posting content, promoting content on social media, creating content, setting up incentives for people to sign up to your email list, creating landing pages, creating funnels for your products or services, creating funnels for your webinars, creating visuals, creating videos, hosting a podcast, engaging with others in online communities, and the list goes on.
You could easily hire a full-time staffer to oversee all this, but for a new startup, that’s hardly a sensible option. That means you need to prioritize. So where do you start when it comes to using social media marketing tactics effectively?
In other words, what do you need to focus on first, second, and so on?
Now sure, the popular advice is to have all the above and more in place. And perhaps one day you will.
But for now, right now? All those tactics seem like Mount Everest, and you are without a sherpa to guide you to the summit. You don’t even know where to start.
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There is hope, however, and after reading this article, you will know, at the very least, where to begin. Consider this social media base camp.
And once you’ve worked through the following actionable process, social media marketing will look less like Mount Everest, and more like a series of hills you can stroll across.
I’ll explain why it’s so important to focus on one big social media goal, and why that goal varies for every organization depending on their business priorities. We’ll also look at how a minimum viable approach can solve issues of focus and viability in your social media outreach. I’ll also provide a simple framework whereby you can evaluate what social media tactics are worth implementing based on priorities and resources available.
Ready? Let’s hit the trail.
Step 1: Focus on Your Most Urgent Business Goal
The first thing to understand is that social media marketing does not have a one-size-fits-all strategy. Why? Because of a few challenges we face:
There are dozens of social media platforms. Some you may have never heard of, with very specific demographics.
There are many different ways to use them for your business.
Your business may have a wide variety of products and services. Each of them could need different, tailored marketing strategies.
Because of these challenges and varying approaches, you need to define your most urgent business goal so you know where to start and how to define which approach is right for you. It also depends on the resources you have at hand. By resources, I mean the people, the tools, and the time you have within reach.
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If you instead spread your resources across a bunch of different business goals, you likely will take longer to achieve any single business benefit. That approach may also take longer and suck up more resources before you find out that the path you are on isn’t viable.
However, if you concentrate your resources on achieving that most urgent goal, you will know much sooner if it is viable. This, in turn, will put you in a better position to build out your social media strategy beyond that primary focus.
If you’re not 100% clear on what that focus is, let’s first examine what your business goals might look like before turning to a process to help you discover your most urgent one.
Examples of business goals would be:
Reduce overall customer acquisition costs by 10% before July 2018
Increase market share by 5% before August 2018
Increase revenues by 20% before Sept 2018
I will acquire five new clients for my coaching business within two months by launching a social media marketing campaign, asking existing customers for referrals and networking with local non-competing businesses. This will allow me to grow my business and increase my revenue.
To help find your most urgent business goal, answer the questions below:
Purpose. What is the purpose of the business? How is the purpose best pursued?
Priorities. Given the purpose and the vision for the business, what matters most to the business now and in the future? Rank your priorities and associated projects according to beneficial impact and necessity.
Goals. Based on the answers to the above two points, which projects are likely to have the most strategic impact and should be supplied with resources available? Which projects should be stopped or scrapped?
Performance. What are the metrics that will measure the performance of your social media goals?
By answering the questions above, you can sort through your priorities to discover your most urgent business goal. If you want to boil all this down into one sentence, it would be this: What are you really trying to accomplish, and what will get the most bang for your buck in getting there?
How do you focus on your most urgent business goal?
The challenge for most people lies in determining what will best accomplish the urgent business goal quickly and then removing distractions that take away from this.
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Let’s say, for example, you were starting from scratch on a new business venture. You would start by asking yourself, “What social media platforms will help accomplish my business goal the fastest?”
You would select only the platform or platforms that most matches your needs to achieve your goal. Here are some of the most popular social media platforms to choose from (feel free to jump ahead if you’re on top of these):
LinkedIn – LinkedIn provides exposure to those hunting for products or services, gets you introductions, allows you to connect and engage with others who could potentially be added to your personal network
Twitter – Depending on your business needs, this platform can be used for communicating with your followers and prospects, showing your brand personality, researching trends, seeking feedback, and providing customer service.
Facebook – This is a platform with a large number of users, making it an attractive option for many businesses. A Facebook page shares basic information on your business. The platform allows you to share pictures and videos from your business, talk to existing and potential customers, provide customer support, raise brand awareness and positive word of mouth via the “Like” button. The platform can also help steer traffic to your website and provide targeted advertising to potential customers.
Instagram – The rise of visual content is most apparent on Instagram. The platform allows you to connect with customers across multiple channels, re-use visuals/marketing materials, attract engaged traffic and build a community, allows you to boost your marketing with user-generated content and lets you know how content will perform ahead of time.
To make the most of your resources and focus on your business goal, you need to find a focus for each social media profile your business owns or might own. In other words, you’re defining what you want to get from each platform, and connecting it to that main goal.