Small Business In Action: How to Navigate Common Social Media Frustrations
Social media marketing has quickly become a priority for many entrepreneurs and small businesses, and its appeal is only continuing to grow. Unfortunately, many business owners become increasingly frustrated by the fact that although they have increased the amount of time they spend on various social media websites, they aren't seeing the return they'd hoped.
Their complaint is not uncommon. Although we've touched on the topic of maintaining a realistic social media ROI perspective, explaining that traditional sales funnel metrics simply don't work, we'd like to take a few minutes to discuss some of your biggest concerns and more importantly, how to conquer them.
Calculating social media ROI
Perhaps unsurprisingly, a recent survey by Manta, an online small business community, showed that 61% of the small business owners who participated do not believe they've seen an ROI from any company social media activity.
Numerous shades of grey
Problem: social media ROI isn't an exact science.
Determining which social media site or search engine is producing the majority of your web traffic is a non-issue. The trouble comes because you ultimately cannot measure the invisible impact it has on your business. Most notably, this includes increasing your credibility, increasing your visibility, and potentially generating referrals you'll never be able to track. As we've all heard (or said) numerous times... 'It's complicated...'
Solution: Look at social media with an open mind and a broader point of view.
Increasing sales is probably one of the worst goals you can set up front because as I've stated before, social media is now used as a business tool, but it was not developed as such. With that in mind, determine what you hope to achieve by being active in social media.
A few ideas include:
- Driving awareness to a specific product/service
- Generate leads by offering helpful content and becoming a leader in your industry
- Personally engage with potential and/or current clients to aid in establishing a presence
There are a variety of analytics tools available, include free versions from Google Analytics and Bitly.com. Professional software tools as well as having a firm professionally manage your social media account(s) are also options to consider... and often times, it's less expensive than you may think!
Problem: social media posts are sporadic and rarely up to date.
Per the Manta survey mentioned above, it was also disclosed that most small businesses find it difficult to maintain, in order:
Simply put, social media management is a full time job in itself. For many small businesses, time and resources don't allow for consistent, regular updates.
Solution: Create a generalized calendar for yourself.
The calendar should span between 3-6 months, and include a variety of topics & expertise that you would like to cover. Think about the seasons and holidays that will fall in to your time frame in order to keep things relevant. Map out a rough plan, and consider checking out applications that will let you schedule the posting of messages. More advanced software solutions are another alternative that can help by allowing you to draft one message, but post it to multiple social media sites at once.
And finally... but once again...
Consider bringing in a professional.
The consistency of even a couple tweets (or Facebook posts) per week strengthens your credibility as a business, while remaining affordable and on-topic.