The 3 Things You Must Have to Embark on a Successful Social Media Marketing Journey for your Business

Successful social media marketing journey for business owners

Ah, social media marketing!

Sometimes, for a business owner/solopreneur, it can seem like the very bane of your existence!

You probably think…

“Can I wish upon a star and have social media go away so that I don’t have to deal with it any longer?”

Can social media really go away or become extinct some day? Of course, it doesn’t seem like a real possibility right now but maybe, some day…?

Or maybe not…?

Of course, I can’t predict the future. But social media or no social media, we will probably be dealing with newer digital marketing platforms down the road since there is no escaping the internet. And again, as time goes by, they will evolve too, just as social media did.

If you remember, social media began as a simple medium to help business owners have direct contact with their customers and target audience. Then, as things began to pick up speed, more and more business owners started joining and competition started growing on the various platforms, the concept of social media started changing, slowly at first and then, drastically.

Facebook pages are not quite what they used to be. You now, need to pay to play.

Instagram users are dealing with what I’d like to call a “change overload”! There are new changes and features popping almost every week and it too is slowly moving in the direction of pay to play. After all, this was only bound to happen after Facebook took it over.

Pinterest has also joined the algorithm bandwagon and although it is still simpler than Facebook, there have been numerous changes from its initial days.

 

Of course, all of the above can be stressful from a business owner’s perspective. Therefore, in today’s blog post I’d like to talk about the 3 things (*which I think) are necessary to embark on a successful social media marketing journey for your business.

Remember (as I always say), you will need to work on social media to make social media work for you. There is no magic involved!

There is no one single strategy that works for everybody, no one size fits all kinda solution and no perfect formula. It is all about trying and testing and then figuring out what worked and what didn’t.

 

 

Therefore moving on, here are the 3 things you must have (as of writing this post and keeping all the changes in mind that have taken place since social media’s inception) to embark on a successful social media marketing journey for you business.

 

1. Time

 

Okay, let’s be honest here. Social media takes time!

And while there are numerous blog posts/people who might tell you otherwise, for example, the fact that you can succeed on social media by spending only 15 minutes a day on it, that is far from the truth.

In all fairness to those who think that it can be managed in 15 minutes a day…

Yes, manage, maybe.

But, succeed, certainly not.

 

Let me give you a very real-world example…

I take more than an hour a day to JUST engage in meaningful conversations with potential customer accounts for my client on Instagram. A big of my strategy to actively attract new fans organically.

And while you might be aware, Instagram is pretty strict about its anti-bot policy which basically means all of the engagement (likes and comments ) must happen manually. There’s no getting around this. Otherwise you will be penalized.

So, engagement in this case translates to…

  • Going through Instagram’s explore page.
  • Taking a look at accounts with a similar target audience.
  • Going through competitor’s accounts.
  • Identifying the people you want to engage with and then liking and commenting on their posts. And I’m talking real meaningful comments, not just an emoji.

If you’re telling me all of the above can be done in 15 minutes flat…and I am not even including the time needed to create/curate content, graphic design/photography since we are talking about Instagram, scheduling your posts, reviewing your analytics, and responding to comments on your posts, as a human being I can honestly tell you that it is quite impossible!

Of course, we are working on the premise here where we are looking to market successfully on social, not using it for pleasure with ad hoc posts.

 

Reality check: You need to spend at least a few hours on each social media platform everyday to successfully market on it. Even if you plan out your content in advance (be it weekly/monthly) you would still need to spend a few hours per day on your social media efforts.

In short, you need TIME, apart from the time you spend running your business, to market on social.

Therefore you will need to be intentional, block out time for your social media marketing efforts just as you do for specific tasks in your business. If you can’t, hire someone to do it for you. Trust me in the long run, it will be beneficial.

 

 


Further reading: [Video] How to Generate Leads with a Fun and Interactive Quiz Using Interact – Getting Creative with your List Building Efforts


 

2. Budget

 

Translates to the “M” word my friend!

Let’s spill the beans…we are talking “Money”.

I’m sure you know by now that if you don’t pay to play on a platform like Facebook, there’s no point in using it in the first place. Gone are the days when your posts used to be seen by hundreds of people and you didn’t have to pay a dime to make that happen.

While organic reach isn’t completely dead (at least, not yet) on platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, all these platforms have introduced algorithms (ah, the dreaded word) to tighten things up and introduced pay to play abilities (advertising features) to help you reach your target customer more easily.

Therefore, yes, I’m going to say it…

If you are serious about using social media for your business, you will need to have some sort of a budget to spend on it. While I’m not suggesting that you will need to spend tens of thousands of $$ right away, you will need to spend some time thinking about how much you would want to invest in order to make a profit.

 

And once again I’m going to be completely honest with you…

I’m not talking about spending $10 on boosting a Facebook post and expecting people to buy your products/services. That is not how social media advertising works!

People don’t log into social media platforms to shop. (I’ve said this before in my emails so if you don’t want to miss out on important info such as this, go ahead and sign up here). They log into Amazon to shop but not Facebook. So you see, there’s a huge difference!

Just because Facebook decided to allow businesses to advertise on the platform, it didn’t transform into an online shopping site overnight. It is still very much a social media platform where people share personal stories and updates and log in to interact with their family and friends.

And the reason I say this is because time and again I’ve chatted with many business owners who have told me that all they did was followed Facebook’s recommendations to boost a post without any solid strategy in place and expected miracles to happen.

Sorry to burst your bubble but serious PPC advertising on social media is a whole new ball game altogether. There are multiple steps involved and you actually need to have a system in place before you even think about spending on advertising.

So, when I talk about budget and success on social, I’m talking about planning, allocating a serious advertising budget and being absolutely clear about your final goal. While I do recommend allocating a budget, I don’t recommend allocating it, if you don’t know what you want from your advertising efforts. You will, then end up wasting your money!

 

Reality check: If you are serious about advertising on social you will need to have a strong monetization plan. You will need to consider your ROI (Return on Investment) and know exactly how your investment will make you money.

Plus you will need to test. There’s no one single formula out there for running a successful social media ad campaign. Testing is essential.

Once again, if you can handle all of the budgeting and ad strategy on your own, excellent. If not, I strongly recommend talking to a pro.

 


Further reading: Productivity Hacks for the Busy Entrepreneur – Quick Fixes to 5 Of Your Everyday Time Struggles 


 

3. Strategy

 

So, let’s say you’ve cracked the previous 2 codes. You have the TIME and the MONEY and you are ready to go.

But where do you begin? Do you have a final goal of what you want from social media?

Alas, without a specific strategy you are going to get nowhere with social media. I don’t think I need to reiterate how competitive the whole social sphere is! Certain niches far more than others.

Let’s take a live example, the fashion and lifestyle niche.

I was recently working with a client who belonged to this niche (Marissa, the owner of Covet The Bag). Since Covet the Bag was a new business (the website was yet to be launched), Marissa wanted to use Instagram to create an initial buzz around her brand and products (high quality custom handbags). I also suggested that we begin building an email list from the traffic that we receive from Instagram.

So, we had 2 finite goals in mind,

  1. Create buzz around Covet the Bag and their products and try to get as many eyeballs on the account as we can before launch.
  2. Start building an email list.

Our Instagram marketing and management strategy revolved around these 2 goals. So, the point I’m trying to make is even if you have the time and the money to spend on social media you are not going to benefit from it if you don’t have a strategy in mind.

 

Coming to the more important question, what kind of a strategy am I talking about?

Honestly, the answer depends on what you want for your business from social media.

(If you decide to work with me, yes, this is one of the questions I will ask you in our initial discovery call).

As a business owner you need to be very clear about this or else you will be wasting precious time and money!

 

For the sake of examples, let’s look at some commonly used final goals:

 

1. Traffic

You use social media to get more traffic to your website/blog. I mainly use Pinterest for this. And this has helped me build my email list rather rapidly.

 

2. Conversion

A conversion is getting someone to respond to your call to action.

For example, you use social media to have someone sign up for your emails, in this case your goal being, building your email list.

You use social media to get people to register for your event/webinar, in this case the goal being event/webinar registrations.

You use social media to promote your sale, in this case the goal being having people click on the buy button.

 

3. Brand awareness

You are a new business and you want to use social media to get the word out there. So you post quality content and focus on increasing engagement on your page.

Even though I’m not a new business, I use Instagram for creating my brand awareness. I use the platform to share business/marketing tips and stories to encourage conversations.

 

4. Advertising

I would call this paid conversions. So, you essentially use social media ads to increase your conversions rather than doing it the organic way.

 

Reality check: You will need to be crystal clear about what you want from social media for your business. It is not just about posting random content everyday.

Of course, I’m not denying the occasional random post where you talk about a personal experience or share a photo of your pet doing something adorable! It is definitely allowed because it shows that you are human.

But your overall strategy will have to be far more “in-depth” than that. Otherwise you will be wasting your time and your money and I don’t think any business owner wants to waste these two precious resources!

 


Further reading: Facebook Advertising for Beginners – Demystifying the Facebook Pixel, What, Why and How


 

While there is no denying that your target customers are definitely using social media, tapping into that resource pool requires time, budget and a solid strategy.

So, if you have been feeling that social media isn’t giving you the results you wanted for your business, time for a reality check maybe?

Have you given any of the above 3 things some thought?

 

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Successful social media marketing for businesses