Do you feel as if you're spending lots of time on social media with little direction and few results?
In this article, I'll show you how to streamline your social media marketing to achieve your goals.
#1: Set Realistic Goals for Your Business
When you set goals for your business, set one realistic goal that's measurable.
For example, if you own a local flower shop and you sell 20-25 flower arrangements per day, try starting off with a goal of selling 30 per day.
Adding an extra 5-10 sales a day is certainly more realistic than adding 30.
When you use a realistic number as your goal, you can track the increase or decrease in sales at the end of the month. This makes the goal measurable.
#2: Learn How You Can Help Your Customer
Once you set your goal, determine how you're going to use social media to help you achieve it.
In his book, Launch, author Michael Stelzner talks about the Elevation Principle. Put simply, the Elevation Principle is: “great content” plus “other people” minus “marketing messages” equals “growth.”
Stelzner goes on to talk about how using this principle will help change your mindset from “What can we sell you?” to “How can we help you?”
To help your customer, do the following things:
- Decide who your target customer is for each particular goal. Put your audience first and it's easier to learn more about their challenges.
- Determine different ways you can help them overcome their challenges. Use “great content” on your social media channels that isn't super-salesy.
- Make sure you can evaluate your results.
Amy Porterfield uses her signup form to let visitors tell her about their biggest business frustration when they join her list.
This helps her tailor content that solves her target audience's challenges.
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The more you learn about the challenges your customers face, the easier it is to create content that solves their problems.
#3: Determine Your Traffic Sources
As you work toward your social media goals, it's important to know where your traffic comes from so you can maximize the time you spend using social media.
If you aren't sure which social media networks drive the most traffic to your site, use this opportunity to analyze your web traffic using Google Analytics. If you want to put your analytic process on autopilot, you can even set up multiple advanced segments.
After you execute your social media strategy for 30 days or so, compare the results and you'll know which social networks drive your website traffic and where you should focus your efforts.
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When food blogger and TV personality Kristin Porter from Iowa Girl Eats started using Pinterest for her food blog in July 2011, she got 200-500 page views per day from Pinterest. Fast-forward to October 2012, and Pinterest generated 20,000+ page views per day.
As Rick Mulready said, “If social media makes sense for your business, be where your customers are.”
Find out where your traffic comes from so you can spend more time where your target audience spends theirs.
#4: Build Your Content Strategy
So far, you have taken steps to:
- Set a realistic, measurable goal for your business.
- Decide which audience you're targeting and identify the challenges they face.
- Determine where your traffic comes from.
Now, it's time to pull it all together.
First you'll need to generate helpful content that's useful to your audience.
Use what you learned in previous steps to align your content development with your social media follower demographics and your business objectives.
The ladies who work at the upscale boutique Aimee often post photos on their Facebook page of themselves wearing the clothes they sell. This helps their ideal target keep up with new and different trends coming in style.
Make a list of helpful posts you will create, and then share the posts with your community manager. Use a content calendar to let everyone see what's publishing on which social media networks and when.
If you have a larger brand and/or social media team managing your presence on multiple platforms, take some notes from Jimmy Fallon.
He posts show previews from YouTube on Twitter and tweets during live events.
As you develop content, remember to include the call to action.
Give your online followers a place to go. Whatever your ideal end result is, use calls to action that will help your audience get there.
On my Facebook page, I use a call to action in the About section to direct my fans to a free guide that gets them started with a marketing plan.
I solve their problem with content as a free gift, and I achieve my goal of collecting their email address.
As you execute your strategy, the content you publish should help your customers and help you reach your goals.
Now, It's Your Turn
If you feel you are doing too much on social media with few results, try streamlining your marketing by following these four steps. When you go where your customers are and determine your business goals, it's surprisingly easy to find the right social media marketing tactics you need for your business.
Give yourself a goal to achieve and a plan to pursue it, but don't let the execution take up your entire day. Monitor the amount of time it takes you and pay attention to where you can further streamline the process.
What do you think? What tips do you have for streamlining your social media activities? Have you set and met goals by using social media? I'd love to hear your questions and comments below.
Images from iStockPhoto.
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