Social Media is STILL one of the hottest topics amongst business owners today, regardless of the size of the business, regardless of the target market, whether they are online business only or brick and mortar or somewhere in between. Social Media Marketing is often the topic of discussion.
If I can be completely transparent with you, here at Online Business Manager.com (and all Tina Forsyth Companies) we have spent the past 2 years purposefully focusing on this area of the business. Sadly though, much of what we have done has resulted in very minimal return. This is by far one of the areas of the business that we can find ourselves on a bit of a hamster wheel… running, running, running, but never really getting anywhere.
However, through our efforts all was not lost! We learned some invaluable lessons along the way, and developed (finally) a clear path to social media success. Hopefully you will be able to take these suggestions and consider them for yourself or your clients to ensure you are actually getting a measurable result.
Social Media Success #1
Hire an Expert – we simply do not know what we do not know! There are tips, tricks, apps, software, etc. that make social media so much easier to manage. Often we lose time, money and prospects under the umbrella of “figuring it out” or “learning on the fly.”
When I say an expert, let me clarify: I am talking about someone who truly understands both the strategy and implementation. An expert knows how to read the metrics and bring an analysis of what is working, what is not, and how to fix it. This person should feel comfortable that you are hiring them with the expectation that they will produce a result, rather than be paid by the hour for implementing a task.
An expert will help you successfully create these 3 elements in social media initiatives (both for ongoing and launch purposes):
Once you have the strategy and know what the best practices are, then you’re ready to move forward in your social media efforts. These efforts are calculated and purposeful in execution.
Simply put, there comes a time when all of us will need to extend beyond our own expertise. When this happens, it is sooo important to bite the bullet and hire someone who can get you the result you desire.
Social Media Success #2
Consistency – stay in front of folks CONSTANTLY! I will admit, we totally dropped the ball on this one in a few places through the “bootstrapping, we will figure it out, can’t be that hard” approach to social media. Honestly, what seems like an absolute annoyance of communication, is without fail one of the most important elements to being successful in social media.
The key is to keep your BRAND in front of your market, not your offerings. Which means, we must be relevant on multiple layers of connection with what is going on in the lives of our prospective leads. Which has a whole lot more to do with them and a whole lot less to do with us. So it’s promoting, it’s engaging, it’s educating, it’s empowering… and it’s consistent.
For years, we as a brand have been purposeful to ensure our fan base knew what we were offering and when. We have always tried to be available for questions and such as they would surface and felt this was the “win” of social media. But the truth is, it wasn’t the win. If anything, it actually hurt us and our efforts. By not keeping the BRAND in front of folks on a consistent basis when we did share something, it resulted in almost no return. If you do not STAY relevant, you will very quickly become irrelevant.
Social Media Success #3
Keep It Real – at the end of the day people are people. People want real relationships, they want to connect with folks who are having real experiences in their businesses. One of the things that Tina Forsyth has always done brilliantly, and that I desire to excel in, is always being herself with the communication throughout the brand. We are simply real women, growing real businesses, with real successes and real failures just like everyone else.
As leaders in the industry, we desire, above all, to keep transparency at the core of how we serve. We are not perfect in our efforts (and trust me, social media has been far from a perfect journey for us), but we don’t quit, we don’t back down and we don’t let it beat us. With this attitude, we desire to keep it real with folks, and so far this has been one of the most successful elements of social media we have experienced!