social media

How does social media help my business?

Speaking to a client the other day, she said “I spend loads of time on social media, but I don’t see any real benefit” – so we had a little look at her account…

Do you know your numbers?

social mediaHow many followers do you have? 64

How many people are you following? 280

Frequency of posts per week? 7/day

Time spent each week? 30 mins/day = 2.5 hours per week minimum

How many shares have you had in the past week? 2

How many leads are you getting per month from Social Media? Don’t know

How many new clients do you get per month from Social Media? Don’t know

The numbers tell a story – she looks like a spammy account since she’s following loads of people without them following her back.  It also suggests that what she’s talking about isn’t of sufficient interest to keep people coming back for more, which is backed up by the low number of shares.  The fact that she wasn’t sure how many leads or customers she was getting from  social media meant that even if it had been generating clients, it wasn’t being monitored, so she didn’t know if the time she was spending was worth it or not.

So even though she was spending a lot of time on it, she wasn’t optimising the returns she was getting.  She wasn’t even sure if that’s where her clients hung out!

So many times we come across clients who think they “need to do social media” rather than them having a valid business reason for spending time and resources on it.  Recent research from Hubspot suggests that unless you have over 500 followers on Twitter (or 1,000+ on Facebook!), the traffic impact on your site from social media is negligible.  So why use it at all?

Why use social media?

The big learning on this is, you need to figure out where your clients are hanging out. What platforms are they using? How do they use them? What’s their preferred communication model? The main aim should be to signpost social media users ASAP into your own marketing funnel, because effectively whilst they remain on the social media platforms, you don’t control the data.

Well, building a following to convert into more web traffic is only one strategy you can use…

  • How about lead generation?  Look at your followers and connect with each new one individually – look at their websites, offer to include them on your newsletter list… Give a personal response.
  • Use social media to eavesdrop?  Use hashtags to eavesdrop on conversations and capture people who are already talking about a specific subject.
  • Social media as a marketing filter?  We also looked at the people who were following her… Around 23 were spam accounts, so we blocked them.  Another 9 were actually other businesses offering the same services – obviously keeping an eye on the competition – we blocked them too as we want to track click thrus only from genuine leads.  There were also 3 offshore followers and she only offers her services in the UK, so they also got blocked.
  • As a Customer Service tool? You may not be making money out of using social media as a customer service tool, but keeping it up to date leaves a great impression with your customers and saves you responding to individual emails/phonecalls.

What if I don’t want to do social networking?

People do check your accounts to see if you are still active, and it could be that it’s putting them off if they see out of date posts.  Additionally, you don’t want to get caught out where someone nicks your preferred handle on a hot new platform – it causes a lot of confusion! So even if you don’t intend to use those platforms, grab the name, stick up a pinned post explaining how they should get in touch, and check in once a month to make sure you haven’t missed any updates.

Want your own strategy in place?  It takes 20 minutes… We’ll make some suggestions and you can either implement them yourself or get one of our VAs to make sure they get sorted! Email info@virtuallysorted.com