Many smaller businesses struggle to understand how to make social media an effective part of their marketing plan. Let’s explore some key concepts to help you know how to use social media. Then, read this post to find out the three steps you need to take so that social media works for your business.
1. Social media are marketing tools – not strategies
Social media refers to a series of marketing tools. They are the same as marketing tools like advertising, PR, sales calls, direct mail. These are tools that you choose to do a particular job.
You should never begin with the tool then try to make it fit the job you have – it’s like picking up a hammer then discovering you need to fix a cupboard. No matter how hard you try, it’s the wrong tool for the job you need to get done.
2. Social media experts are master craftsmen at their tools
Some people specialise in using social media as a marketing tool. They are experts – bring them in when you need this expertise. Many marketers can use social media generally. It’s like me with a hammer – I can use one and make a reasonable job out of building stuff. But it is nothing like the work a trained joiner or carpenter can do.
3. You need to have a plan that lays out how you are going to use these tools
Like any plan, you begin with the end goal. Then you work backwards to figure out how to achieve that goal. Too often people get dazzled by social media tools. They leap straight into using them. Stop. Create your plan. That will show you which tool you need to use to achieve your goals.
4. Just because you can measure it, doesn’t make it meaningful
Social media platforms can become attractive and addictive because we can actually measure the activity we are doing (e.g. how many posts, comments we post) and the outcomes they are generating (how many likes, how many interactions). But just because you can measure it, doesn’t make it meaningful. So, go back to the basics. Figure out what you need to use these tools for. Then put in place meaningful measurements.
One of the best phrases I ever heard in relation to how to use social media in any business is: same rules, different tools. That’s my mantra when setting marketing plans which involve social media.
Now let’s move on to the next blog to find out the key steps you need to take to make social media work for your business.
Kara Stanford is a Strategic Marketing Consultant who helps businesses review and plan their marketing.
Contact her for a chat about how she can help your business.