Social Media Strategy

 

Vast experience deconstructing the overwhelming field of social media and establishing effective use in a business environment.

Years of hands-on practical experience invested to understand the role of social media and digital marketing for the purposes of developing relevant web traffic and lead generation. Content-driven strategies combined with direct email marketing and social media have proven results developing relevant traffic, followed by successful lead capturing and conversion.

 

Social Media and Business

To improve prospects for business survival in the 21st-century digital environment it’s necessary to deploy websites that have achieved or are on the path toward achieving organic site traffic. To successfully develop organic traffic the owner must publish content – content that’s interesting, relevant, and valuable to the target audience which, over time, helps establish authority in its field thereby building trust with the audience.

For inbound digital marketing strategies designed with a primary goal for developing organic website traffic, the use of appropriate social media platforms is important to help deliver content to a wider audience. Naturally, the wider the audience, the greater the potential to increase qualified traffic back to the targeted website.

Unfortunately, understanding the role of social media in business is an overwhelming topic and, due its scope and complexity, is an area of weakness for many independent office products and equipment resellers. Many dabbled with poor results and became disillusioned with its potential to perform a meaningful role in business development.

Because many resellers jumped in without a strategy they failed to achieve satisfactory outcomes and largely abandoned their social initiatives. Consequently, there are many dormant social accounts adding no value to brand development or awareness. This has become a negative factor in researching buyers investigating solutions to their problems as a weak social presence can become a factor in eliminating otherwise viable candidates from contention.

Where does a small business start?

Everybody has heard of the multitude of popular social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, Google+, etc.  But, for a small business, the biggest question faced as strategy is contemplated is where to start.  What’s the most important platform for a business and what strategy should be developed for that platform?  Each of the platforms has different users in terms of demographics.  A business operator has to choose where to focus its efforts and that depends to a large extent on the nature of its business.

The concept of social media in business

Again, most businesses interested in developing a social media strategy probably get the basic concept that the idea is to establish, and then continue to build, networks of high quality contacts on each of the social media platforms they plan to utilize.  The network of contacts then becomes the audience for the content that is to be published.  The more contacts the  wider the audience.  The wider the audience then the more likely the network will continue to expand.  It becomes a virtuous cycle – so long as the content is valuable, relevant and interesting.

Why is executing a social media strategy so difficult for small businesses?

There is nothing easy about executing an effective social media strategy. The three key requirements are content, staying power and establishing effective techniques for delivering the content to the chosen media platforms.

  • If a business cannot generate content in which the target audience has an interest then the strategy fails.
  • If a business is not prepared to consistently deliver a high-quality message over a sustained period of time then the strategy fails.
  • If the techniques for how, when, and how frequently to deliver content are not learned then the strategy fails.

In the early stages, it’s difficult for marketers to see sufficient indicators of progress so it becomes tempting to slow down or spend less time executing the strategy, leading to failure. Unfortunately, there are no silver bullets – it’s hard work preparing relevant and useful content so it’s hard to maintain the staying power needed to continue delivering the material consistently and making it an ongoing part of day-to-day business operations.

The price of failure

A presence on the Internet in terms of developing a website with an increasing volume of organic traffic is imperative for business survival and, in order to successfully operate a business with favorable future prospects, it’s necessary to deploy efficient tactics for accomplishing this goal.  Use of social media as a part of an inbound digital marketing strategy is really just a modernization of old-school traditional marketing efforts that used print and broadcast media platforms. However, the old-school traditional methods are less efficient and therefore more expensive. For businesses that persist with outdated marketing strategies their costs are higher and therefore they are less efficient. Ultimately, less efficient businesses do not survive.

Small and Medium Business Enterprises

Social Media is not optional for businesses that have an interest in a long-term future or that may be contemplating a sale in the near future and want to extract the best possible value for their business. Social media is everywhere and it can be difficult for a traditional business operator to figure out a sensible strategy. The worst course of action is to ignore the various platforms and continue as before. Like it or not – social media is here to stay and a massive diversion of marketing funds has already occurred.