If there is one question I hear from business owners and marketers almost on a daily basis, it is: HOW is social media actually going to drive sales for me?
The answer: Well, it actually may not. It all depends on the situation, how you use social media channels, your goals, and the internet usage habits of your audience.
Sometimes it’s not about direct sales at all, sometimes it’s about building brand awareness for future, and long-term positioning and revenue. Sometimes it’s about learning how to better suit the needs of your market. Sometimes, it’s just may not be the right fit. And yes, I am a Social Media marketing consultant telling you that social media is not always the best tool for all businesses.
“Ok,” you ask, “now what does all that really mean for me?”
Here are four ways to know if a Social Media campaign would be a good fit for your marketing program:
1) Does your target market use social media regularly?
While it certainly SEEMS like everyone and their parents are on Facebook, the reality is that some markets, and some demographics, are relatively limited on social media. How to tell? Try conducting a brief survey of your clients via email or in person. Ask them if they are using social media, which networks they are spending their time on, and how they are using it. If the clients you currently have are a reflection of the market you are trying to reach, this should provide good information.
2) Do you have something different, unique, useful, or valuable to offer?
While it is important to pepper your messages with a few anecdotes on your daily life, just to keep things personal, if all you have to offer are retweets of other’s messages or quotes of the day, you’re never going to gain traction and followers. What is it about your product/service/company that makes you unique? What value can you offer prospective clients beyond the traditional discount or free item? If you can’t answer this question, it is time to go back to the drawing board on that marketing plan.
3) Are you able to promote your products or services openly in public spaces?
This can be a tough one for some companies, especially those limited by government, privacy, or corporate guidelines. If these limitations apply to you, try developing messages that are more creative and fall within guidelines. For instance, wealth management companies cannot provide advice on which stocks to purchase in advertisements, but they can offer feedback on the current market situation, and they can help prospects find creative ways to minimize debts and investment costs.
4) Would you benefit from branding or promotional marketing?
Before you answer this, be sure you are ok with spending time and resources on a marketing program that may not lead to immediate sales. Some Social Media campaigns can make your phone ring or push your website traffic to sky-high limits. Others will keep you top of mind with a prospective customer base for years to come. Which will work best for you? The short-term strategy may provide you an immediate boost, but the long-term one will give you dividends that multiply on their own for years to come.
If you are still unsure, or are ready to get started right now, give us a call. We’re waiting to help you create the online brand you’ve been dreaming of for months or years.