Build a Quality Social Media Presence with Quality Connections

Build a Quality Social Media Presence with Quality Connections

Are you focused on Quality or Quantity on Social Media?  

My question for you today is this…what do you think impacts the quality of your presence on social media today?  Is your current focus on getting more fans and followers on your Pages and Profiles?  

Which type of metrics really matter to your business? 

Some people think that having a high Fan and Follower count is more important than spending time attracting your ideal audience or making actual connections with others on social media.  Clicking a button to Like or Follow someone is not, in my opinion, networking or  making a connection.  Giving more focus to your Fan and Follower count than an actual strategy to attract your ideal audience is an example of using a vanity metric. It has no real effect on your business results.  Fan and Follower count can be manipulated by soliciting Likes from random people and some people buy Fans and Followers for the sake of impressing others. 

Some vanity metrics can be helpful depending upon what you will use them for.  Here’s an example:  Since January 2018 when Facebook changed their algorithm, the reach for any organic posts on a Facebook Page is practically non-existent.  To get any kind of measurable organic reach, your posts must get engagement (comments, shares, reactions, likes).  If the post on your Facebook Page gets a lot of  engagement, this may trigger a business decision to make an investment to run the post as a paid Ad.  Of course, this depends upon the content and whether the post aligns with your business goal(s).  This would be relevant if you are trying to make your ideal audience aware of your brand and what you have to offer, if you are trying to drive more traffic to your website or sales page, etc.  But to track vanity metrics just for the sake of numbers is just a waste of your time.

Here’s an example where Vanity Metrics are not valuable. 

I was recently reading through some posts in a networking Facebook Group that I’m in and I came across a post from a self-proclaimed marketing and social media “guru” that was encouraging readers to visit his Facebook Page and to “LIKE” it.  He promised them he would reciprocate with a “LIKE” to any readers’ Facebook Page (those who liked his Page first) and he explained in his post that people should do more of this to “get connected” to others.   

The first thing I did was laugh when I read this post.  But as I saw the comments from the people in the group who don’t know or understand what a waste of time this is, that post began to really bother me for a couple of reasons, 

Here’s why…

  1. The action of clicking a “LIKE” button does not, in my opinion, make a connection.  It creates an opportunity to make a connection…an opportunity to have a brief conversation with the other person to find out more about them.  The conversation can be a virtual chat, phone call, or whatever is convenient. 
  2. Comments under this post included statements like, “yes, I’m in, what a great way to make connections and get my message out, great way to have others try my samples, etc, etc”.  “Yes, I’m going to do this with others.” and many others along those lines.   

My laughter turned to my own verbal comment “Eeww” once I read those comments because the pitch seemed a bit sleasy. (no, I didn’t say “Eeww” in the comment on the Facebook post). Yes, I know similar pitches have been used over the years, but with the changes to Facebook’s algorithm, this is really an exercise in futility.  None of those people who are liking each others’ Pages will see each other’s posts unless they also flag the Following setting and click that they want to see those Pages in their Newsfeed. 

With a little research, I discovered that the self-proclaimed social media “guru” had relatively few Fans on his Facebook (business) Page and he was apparently was trying to beef up his numbers.  So, what’s wrong with that?   

I don’t have a problem with this “guru’s” interest in vanity metrics. I have no problem with his wasting his time.

My problem is more of a concern for the people who are buying into this myth that it’s as simple as clicking a Like and they are on their way to marketing their business using Facebook. There were several people who thought this tactic would somehow help them make others aware of what they do, what they offer, and that others would want to try their products, etc.  And they would also gain a Fan!  Woo Hoo!  

The people he is encouraging to help him out with his Fan Count, which is a Vanity Metric, obviously don’t know or understand what social media marketing can and can’t do for their business.  They’ve bought into this exchanging Likes exercise because he calls himself an expert and they don’t realize they are not likely connecting with their ideal audience. 

I’ve found these are the type of people who have a difficult time accepting that social media marketing needs to be tied to their business goals to be effective.  They opt to use tactics instead of trying strategies. They have chased Bright Shiny Objects in the past, with few to no results, and yet still have the misconception there is some kind of magic formula to solve their marketing and sales problems.  It can be a challenge to overcome that myth. 

Some start up business owners will take the advice of anyone and everyone. They will sign up for every free webinar they can find and start mixing and matching strategies that don’t necessarily align with their business and goals.  They get confused, they get overwhelmed, they can’t maintain consistency and they don’t really know if their ideal audience is even hanging out on the social media sites that they are trying to build a presence on.   

Some start using social media for marketing and focus on metrics that are not tied to business goals and in doing that, they are not in a position to use metrics to make business decisions.  The typical results are they can’t measure positive changes in their business from their social media efforts.  So they give up on what could be a great way to market their business, IF they did it correctly.  And that’s sad when people give up because they were relying on bad information.

What kind of business decision can you make if you ask a bunch of people from random backgrounds and industries to Like your Page?  How many do you think might be your Ideal Client?  Do you think they will ever buy from you?  I’m going to bet they will not.  So why spend any time or effort doing that?

If I asked you why you decided to create your own business, most of you would answer to share your message to help others or to serve others with your skills, knowledge or products.  But a business, any business, must consistently generate a profit or it will not survive.  I’m sure being in a popularity contest was not one of the factors you considered when you created your business. 

Let’s look at it this way.  What is more valuable?

Although there are only 4 quarters, each quarter has more value than each coin in the 50 Penny pool and together they are more valuable.

What am I trying to illustrate in a simple (and perhaps silly) example?  Imagine the quarters is your ideal audience.  Each of the quarter can become your ideal client and ultimately buy from you.  These would be considered as high quality connections.

Now, imagine the pennies are 50 random people.  There only connection to each other is that they are members of a group of people who are, in some way, running a business or are business owners.  Some are multi-level marketers, some are independent contractors who have service business, some create products and other sell products.  There are no other relevant interest in what each other is doing or selling.  That group of 50 pennies or 50 random people are low quality connections because few to none of them would be considered as your ideal audience or your ideal client.  The odds of converting any of these people to buy what you are selling is slim.  So the 50 pennies might look good on paper but the individual and cumulative value is considerably lower than the 4 quarters.

Get it?  It’s ok to have a small number of Fans, Followers, Subscribers as long as they are your Ideal Audience or Ideal Clients who are interested in what you offer. These are people who you have a opportunity to convert into buyers.  In fact, those Fans or Followers are more valuable to your business individually, and as a group!

If you found this blog post helpful, follow me on social media to get more tips and info about social media and other marketing topics. 

 

Are you using Social Media to market your business? 

What kind of results are you getting?   

Need some help getting started or getting back on track?

Click here today to schedule your complimentary Marketing Clarity Call. 

Finding A Winning Formula for Your Social Media Content

Finding A Winning Formula for Your Social Media Content

Social Media Marketing has many moving parts. It’s easy to be confused about what type of  content is best to share on social media. 

 

Over the years that I’ve been providing marketing services, I’ve been asked a couple of common questions frequently.   The questions relate to the type of content that should be posted on business pages and profiles.

Those questions are:

  • What type of content should I post on my social media business Page(s)?
  • How much of the content that I post can be used to promote my business?

Generally speaking, your social media content should do these things:

  • Be Engaging – your posts should be of interest to your ideal audience and entice them to Like, Comment, and/or Share it. This is where you can build brand awareness. You need to be clear about who your ideal audience is and depending on your audience, there may be some creativity needed to make your posts interesting to your tribe.
  • Be Share Worthy – Sharing other’s business posts can be beneficial to you too.  Some business page owners will reciprocate by sharing your posts, giving you a shout-out on their page or a retweet.
  • Promote (Your business and offering) – Share information about your business, your values, your services and products, your events, etc.  You’ll want to keep your tribe interested in what you are sharing so they will pay attention when you do post promotional content.

Ultimately, the content you post on social media should be what your ideal audience wants to see or read. For many, this can take time to learn the content they like most and what they will engage with. You’ll have to test your posts and monitor them to learn which ones are the best performers. Find your best and worst performing posts by reviewing your insights on your social media account(s). You’ll also need to posting content consistently.

There are several formulas that are thought to be the gold standard for maintaining balance of the content you are posting on social media. Any one of these have been used for years by a variety of industries. The common thread is that all of them emphasize keeping your promotional posts to a minimum.

Does that seem odd to you? You are using social media to market what you sell and to increase your sales, right? And now I’m telling you about formulas that limit the amount of promotional content you post on social media about your services, programs, products or events. 

The reason for keeping a low ratio of promotional posts is because most people get bored with those who consistently talk about themselves, what they do, what they are selling. For most businesses, this overly promotional approach can be a real turn-off to even the most loyal fans and followers. If you are doing this, be prepared for some people to scroll past your posts and ads when they see them in the newsfeed.  

Think of it this way…When you have a real-life conversation with someone, do you talk only about yourself?

Remember it’s called “Social” Media, not “Selling” Media. The point of social media marketing is to build relationships and trust. 

There is no hard and fast rule for striking the perfect balance of the content you post. Businesses that use social media for marketing will have different strategies, their target audience may have different demographics, and their industry could require a different content mix.

The Formulas:

The 70/20/10 Formula:

  • Engage: 70% of your content should add value and help you build your brand. Post content to educate and entertain your ideal audience; posts that will encourage your fans & followers to engage using Likes, Comments, and to Share them.
  • Share: 20% of your content should be from other sources such as industry news or relevant content from others, including posts from those in complementary business. Examples include articles, social media posts, etc of others that your audience will love and will engage with.
  • Promote: 10% of your content can be promotional. Include your offers and information about (including links to) your packages, discounts, sales, events, ads, etc.  This is content about what you are selling. 

The 60/30/10 Formula:
Similar intent as the 70/20/10 with a slightly different formula

  • 60% of your posts should engage your audience.
  • 30% of your posts should be content of others that you share. It works well to share posts of complementary businesses, not your direct competitors. Industry news that is relevant to your brand or your target audience is good to share too.
  • 10% of your posts should or can be promotional. 

The 80/20 Formula:

  • Engage: 80% of your posts should be informational, educational, and entertaining. Can be a mix of your original content and posts of others that are relevant to your tribe.
  • Promote: 20% of your posts can be promotional content about your business and offerings. 

The Rule of Thirds:

  • Engage: 1/3 of your posts should be engaging, educate and entertain your tribe.
  • Share: 1/3 of your posts should be content of others that you share, see above examples.
  • Promote: 1/3 of your posts can be promotional content about your business and offerings. 

There may be a few others with different ratios but with similar intent. 

What I’m sharing with you is offered to help you find a good starting point to develop the best content mix on social media that will help keep your target audience interested. Pick one of the formulas to start, then tweak the ratio of the different types of content based upon how YOUR tribe responds. Depending on your industry, your ideal audience and based on the results you are getting on your posts, there may be a need to tweak the formula. Check your insights monthly to review how your posts are performing.

Recommended Tools and Procedures:

Create and/or use a strategy and a plan that includes your social media goals.  Your social media goals should be  tied to your business goals.

Create a content marketing plan about what you are going to share on social media and calendar when you plan to share each piece of content. Make sure to include all of your events, product launches, speaking events, and their corresponding dates in your planner calendar.

Use your content marketing plan with a social media planner/calendar to map out the exact content you plan to post, when you are going to post it and the social media channel you will share it on. 

Get into the habit of reviewing and recording your insights on your social media accounts or via 3rd party apps monthly. Adjust the ratio of your content and the type of content as needed.

If you found this blog post helpful, follow me on social media to get more tips and info about social media and other marketing topics. 

Has it become a challenge to find enough time to market your business consistently?  Get clear on where you focus should be and options available to you to be more efficient and effective.

Schedule your complimentary Marketing Clarity Call  today – click here.

Top 10 Benefits of Using Social Media for Marketing

Top 10 Benefits of Using Social Media for Marketing

Are you a business owner who doesn’t use social media as a part of your marketing plan?

Social media has become an extremely powerful marketing tool for businesses, large or small.  While many users who hang out on Facebook are there to stay connected to their friends and family, savvy business owners learned early how effective marketing there can be.

Those who have been successful marketing on social media understand the importance of including it into their strategic marketing plans.

Two important factors are stimulating the growth of social media users.

    • Easy Access: There are more people accessing the internet via mobile. Improved connectivity of mobile devices has provided a way for people to access social media accounts frequently.
    • Mature Adopters: There are more active users on social media in the 45-64+ age bracket.

For those who think their customers and clients can’t be reached on social media, here are some numbers that may surprise you.

    • Facebook, the behemoth of social media platforms, currently has over 2 billion active users each month, worldwide. [1]
    • You Tube currently has just under 2 billion active users monthly. [1]
    • Instagram active users monthly is just over 100 million. [1]

So, what can marketing on social media do for your business?

First of all, you need to understand that creating social media Profiles and Pages with a few random posts will NOT help you achieve your business goals. There are a several preliminary steps that should be done such as researching to learn which social media platform(s) your ideal audience hangs out on.  You need to have established goals that you want to reach using social media for marketing and those goals should be aligned with your business goals.

Once you’ve completed your research establish goals, you should create strategies and a plan to reach them.  And you should know your ideal audience well enough to know what interests them the most because these are the people you will want to engage with, so you will need to post content they find valuable.

If you are not convince that marketing on social media can help you reach your business goals, some of the benefits are outlined below.

1)  Build Brand Awareness: A brand is more than a logo, a color palette or a specific font. When building your brand, you are actually building your reputation. The point is for people with no prior knowledge of you, your business or your offerings to begin to recognize you and learn how you serve your customers. It’s not a one and done task. It takes time to cultivate recognition and consistency is key to stay top of mind with your fans and followers.  Here is one area where the preliminary research, creation of strategies and plans will help you. helps you 

Make sure your messaging will appeal to your ideal audience and your content is valuable to them.  And, remember to put “social” into your social media marketing. Take the opportunity to answer questions, respond to comments left on your posts and engaged with your fans/followers timely.  Brand awareness is the best way to warm your audience and get increased exposure to help you start generating leads using social media.

2)  Increased Website Traffic: Social media can help you drive more traffic to your website. Share an excerpt of you best blog content with a link back to the blog post or share content from a page on your website with the URL in your social media posts and ads. Create content about your products or services with a link back to your sales page on your website. You can also offer giveaways and freebies with a link back to the webpage where they can be accessed on your website. Here’s another good reason to have great content on your website that is visually appealing, easy to read, and easy to navigate.  It helps to capture your viewer’s interest.

3)  Generate Leads: Social media offers several ways to generate leads. One of the most popular tactics is an “opt-in” where you offer content or a session in exchange for the readers’ contact information/email address. Your social media post can include info and a link to your opt-in form that will give the subscriber access to the “gated” content after they complete and submit their contact info. If your content is valuable and relevant to the those who opt into your email list, they will likely stay on your list. This gives you the opportunity to continue nurturing and educating them on your business, how your products and services solve their problem, events, etc.  Some people your list will be interested in your offerings quickly and some people will need to be nutured for years before buying.  But having them on your list helps you stay top of mind with them. You can also display your opt in form directly on your Facebook Page, on one of the menu tabs.

4)  Boost Sales: Most experienced marketers understand there is no overnight success with social media marketing that will result in making a lot of money.  Making new connections,  building relationships, establishing credibility and cultivating trust takes time and these are key factors to convert your fans/followers/prospects into buyers.  But once you have built a tribe of raving fans, you can boost sales volume by promoting your offerings on social media, via posts with organic reach and/or with social media ads.  And when your tribe shares your promotional posts, your reach expands exponentially. 

The majority of business owners who report success with increasing sales volume using social media marketing create campaigns to use with targeted ads, retargeting tools to remind the viewer of their previous interest in their offerings and sales tracking tools to help them manage the sales process.

5)  Cost Effectiveness: Many small businesses are strapped for cash and haven’t included advertising dollars in their budget. Traditional advertising like print, radio and TV ads can be priced out of their reach. Social media platforms have made it possible for business owners to create business profiles and pages to start building interest for their business, get exposure, share information about their business offerings and to start engaging with their prospects and customers – all for FREE.

6)  Positioning as Expert: Be the go-to person for answers and ideas on social media to establish your credibility in your niche or industry. This will also help you build a loyal fan base and is an excellent way to build consumer trust.

7)  Competitive Research: If you are in business, you need to be aware of what your competition is doing, what’s working for them and what’s not working. Social media provides a way to learn what people are saying about your competition and it can provide a way to discover gaps in their services or products that you improve upon to attract customers.  Tools are also available to help you analyze the performance of your competitor(s).

8)  Stay Informed of Industry News: Everything moves faster online. Social listening can help you learn about changes to your industry or hot topics quickly.  You can also learn about industry news of those you serve.  This will allow you to react faster to changes that will affect your business.  Some changes could be relevant to share with your fans and followers if they will affect their business and if they are factual.

9)  Targeted Ads: – Social media ads offer targeting options to help you reach the right audience with ads that are within the budget you determine. It’s important to know who you are targeting and what your goals are before you start using social media ads. Most business owners have found social media ads to be more effective than depending on organic reach and that they are less costly than print ads. Social media ad campaigns are also a great way to increase reach to your prospects, get more exposure for yourself and what you offer, and to entice your audience to access your sales pages and links. Facebook makes it possible to create highly targeted ads to help reach your audience.

10) Customer Servicing:  Businesses large and small have begun to realize the importance of customer care on social media.  Customers  want to be heard if they have a bad experience with a brand.  It’s becoming the norm for customers to talk about their experience with a business, positive or negative, on social media.

Large companies that routinely provide customer care on social media use separate accounts for servicing, hashtags, and strategies such as processes to provide excellent service and building customer advocate teams.  When someone posts about a bad experience, their customers acts as advocates; they recall and post about positive experiences they’ve had with the brand to mitigate the negative comments. 

Small business owners are integrating live chat on their websites to let prospects and customers send questions or information about help needed at any hour and they respond via email during their normal business hours.  If customers send you messages through your social media accounts or post on your social media accounts about their experience with your company, you should respond positively and as quickly as possible.  If their comments are negative, don’t agree with a disgruntled customer online.  Invite them to talk about the problem in an offline conversation.

This list above is not all inclusive but it covers many benefits that business owners should consider if they aren’t using this form of marketing. Social media is definitely here to stay and its number of users continues to grow.  It’s no longer reasonable to assume that your customers are not using social media in some way. 

If this form of marketing will fit iin with your overall marketing plan, identify one platform where your ideal audience hangs out and give it a try.

The most important thing to remember is using social media for marketing purposes is not a get rich quick scheme. Success with this form of marketing requires time, planning and effort to implement the tactics you’ve defined to reach your business goals.

 

[1] Statista https://www.statista.com/statistics/272014/global-social-networks-ranked-by-number-of-users/

If you have more questions about using social media for marketing your business or questions about a specific social media platform, I’d love to help you.

Let’s talk about your marketing, schedule a complimentary Marketing Clarity Call with me by clicking here.

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