Disclaimer: Don’t be Social Just to be Social

social mediaI can’t count how many times I’ve heard a business owner vent their frustration with their social media accounts. When I ask them why they started a Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest account, they stare at me blankly and say, “well, I guess I did because everyone else was doing it…”

Often the biggest cause of social failure is going into it with the wrong attitude. Even though it may seem like everyone has claimed their brand on every social media platform, it doesn’t mean that you have to.  In my opinion, there is a three-step process to creating a social media strategy: goals, content, and location.

 

1. Setting Up Social Media Goals

It’s important to have a clear strategy in mind and reasons for doing social before starting out. Make reasonable, measureable goals and focus on those goals.  Ensure that your goals are the right ones too. You can have a ton of “likes” or followers, but if you aren’t creating content to lead to conversions, social probably isn’t worth your time. Ask yourself, what do you want to get out of being social? Awareness of new products or services? Increased traffic or attendance at events?

Take Joe Schmoe’s Auto Body Shop for example. What kind of goals should Joe have for being social? Maybe Joe does cool bodywork, but no one really knows about it. Increasing bodywork jobs could be a primary goal for going social. Or perhaps Joe wants to increase the number of state inspections he does every year. Both of these goals are measurable and easy to track.

 

2. Creating a Content Strategy

Once you have your goals, you need to consider a content plan for accomplishing them. Give people a reason to engage with you on social media. They have a limited attention span and need a good reason to give you a sliver of their precious time. Why should I engage with Joe Schmoe’s Auto Body Shop?  Joe could provide me with great information on how to take care of my car in winter weather.  He could write a blog post about news and updates on PA inspection laws, or ways to get the most out of my gas mileage. Maybe Joe’s target market would like to see images of old cars he has restored, or sweet custom bodywork he’s done for customers.  Throw in a few promotions and specials, and Joe has a content plan.

 

3. Location, Location, Location.

AutoBodyNot only do you need to have a good strategy and relevant content, but you need to be using the right avenues. Where is Joe’s customer base most likely to be? I would hazard a guess that his clientele for custom bodywork is most likely male and unlikely to be on Pinterest. But they might be on Facebook, as are many women who deal with family car inspections and repairs. Starting a blog on his website would also be a viable option, and a great idea from an SEO perspective. With the combination of Facebook and a blog (which can be heavily integrated to drive traffic to each other), Joe could have a great interactive social media presence and increase traffic to his website and bring in qualified leads.

 

If you’ve come up with your strategy and content and chosen your social media, make sure that you have a way to track and analyze your efforts. It’s important to know whether your blog is driving the most traffic to your website, or whether it’s your LinkedIn or Twitter accounts. Then getting more specific, what content is driving people to convert to leads? Is it images, blog posts, infographics, or video? If you know what’s working for you, and you can replicate it, you’ll be set to succeed in social media!