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Why Social Media Should Top Your To-Do List

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“Creativity comes from constraints”Biz Stone, Co-Founder, Twitter

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Social media has become the most inevitable tool that every business; big or small, is using as a part of its business promotion strategy. Of course, there is no two way to the fact that businesses are growing by leaps and bounds because of their popularity across social platforms. If you are building a company or a product, you need to build the social momentum and buzz. A basic question that tickles the brains of every entrepreneur is “Where and how to promote my business?” True, isn’t it?

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My objective here is to analyze:

  • Whether social media is working for small businesses and startups and where is the shortfall.
  • Time they spend on social media and ideally how much time they should spend to get some good numbers.
  • How frequently they should be populating their social media handles.
  • What kind of content that startups and small businesses use and how can they improve.
  • Platforms they use for advertisement and which other platforms should be there in the list.

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Most of the startups or small businesses often get stuck in the guesswork that surrounds social media strategizing for their business idea, product or service. There are some essential elements that shall help eliminate the guesswork and put in some targeted efforts.

To build that clarity in approach, one must be able to answer some frequently asked questions in respect of their businesses.

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Is social media my cup of tea?

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Off course yes! Social media and content marketing is for everyone. There is everything to gain and nothing to lose here. Every business has something to it that can be informative and presented in an attractive manner for its audience. Tap on that knowledge within your business and start Blogging. Anything that is informative and provides value to its readers is welcomed on social media.

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Social media works for both B2C and B2B businesses. If you are a B2B company and are under the impression that social media is just for B2C businesses, then it’s high time to come out of that myth. B2B businesses have been earning good profits through increased sales and building better relationship with audiences, all attributed to social media. And the best part is you can track and analyze the ROI on your social media marketing efforts. All you need to do is to define a strong social media strategy. That strategy’s major elements shall be

  • Goals you are seeking to achieve,
  • Right platforms for your business
  • Deciding on the accurate strategy for your social media posts
  • Analyzing the results on a regular interval
  • Curating the strategy according to the feedback and results.

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As far as B2C companies are concerned, undoubtedly social media is the way to go. Content marketing and social media is building fortunes for them. Only thing to put concentration on is a well planned and documented content marketing strategy.

It doesn’t matter if you are a start-up or a small business, B2B or B2C company, social media marketing is for everyone.

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Should I be sitting on social media all the time?

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Simply NO. It has been observed that small businesses and start-ups who have a social media presence spend as less as 6 hours weekly on Social Media. Is that enough a time? It isn’t. Businesses who spend a minimum of 15 to 20 hours weekly (which means roughly 2-3 hours daily) on Social Media are performing way better than their counterparts. I hope this isn’t much a time that a good social media strategy execution asks for.

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You know your audience better, so you need to design your social media strategy accordingly and be consistent with it. Consistency is the key here. If you are spending 20 people-hours in one week and then in the next week you drop that time to 5 people-hours, then you won’t be reaping out great results. Decide on a time span and stick to it.

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Consistent efforts shall do more good to you. How? Your marketing expenses shall cut down and your Direct Social Sales shall pump up, all because of social media marketing.

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What is my frequency guide for Social Media?

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Another question that arises into every entrepreneur’s mind is the frequency by which he should populate his social channels. This one dilemma is faced by every social media marketer. No marketer can afford to drive away the followers, so he has to strike a perfect balance between sharing the content and listening to what the user has to say about the shared content. We need to make sure that our content is informative and not annoying to our audience. Our focus is to provide value without going overboard.

Post analyzing many marketing survey reports and practicing it, I have been able to draw a subtle conclusion regarding the frequency at which a social media marketer needs to post. If you’re just beginning with your social media marketing efforts, I would suggest don’t rush. Go slow and steady. Be regular with your posts across all your social platforms. Target your audience and work on the right social platforms accordingly.

 

Platform B2C B2B
Facebook 5-10 per week 3-7 per week
Linkedin 1 per day 1 per day
Twitter 7-10 per day 5 per day
Google+ 5-10 per week 3-7 per week
Instagram 3-5 per day 2-4 per day

 

B2B and B2C businesses have difference in their approach and choice of platforms when it comes to marketing on Social Media.  But one thing remains common which is there is no right frequency for posting on social media. All you can do is to Predict the frequency, Measure the results, and Repeat if that worked.

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What content to post on my Social Media platforms?

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Once you have identified your audience and set up your presence on the relevant social channels, the next job is to decide the content that needs to go up on those platforms. Your content must be really engaging to drive good traffic to your website.  Blogs and visual content is the new rage. People trust on bloggers and this increases engagement on the website too. Podcasting is also emerging and marketers are also giving it a try. Content marketing through videos is unbeatable nowadays. A short video teaser has been proved to work better on social media platforms than a textual explanation of the product/service.

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Why videos work?

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First and foremost, the audience has limited time for everything. They want things to be communicated in a unique, simple and engaging way. A video solves this purpose pretty well. A video is at least 10 times less in cost and does the same work as a huge- budgeted marketing campaign. And there are higher chances of a video going viral than a simple post.

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Thinking of Social Media Advertising. Where to head?

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This fact may come as a shock to you but it’s true. Marketers use Facebook ads twice as much as Google ads. Facebook has emerged as an undisputed king for paid advertisement. A major reason for this lies in the vast reach of Facebook i.e. 1 billion registered users and 699 million daily active users. For businesses like E-commerce retailers, travel agencies, photographers etc. Facebook Ads have emerged as a blessing in disguise.

.Though Facebook is the top dog in the race but because of its relatively higher cost, few businesses have been refraining from it.

.Twitter Ads are also popular among B2B businesses and publishers. It provides them significant brand exposure and high user engagement. Around 85% of B2B companies use twitter for advertisement.

.Along with Twitter, LinkedIn – the most professional social network in the world attracts the major B2B companies for advertisements. It has 300 million active monthly users. Every second two professionals join LinkedIn, that’s the power of this growing network.

.Google+ with 300 million monthly active user reach and its single ad format, can be an ideal platform for small businesses in marketing and B2B companies.

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Sum of the game is Social Media has proven to be a game changer for all type of businesses. Using it with consistency, right approach and good content is the key for success. Apart from the social channels mentioned above, Quora, ReddIt and Pinterest are also emerging as a potential business generators for both B2B and B2C. Small businesses must use social media marketing and spend each marketing dollar very wisely across platforms. Even if they don’t opt for paid mediums, the unpaid mediums can also work wonders for them.

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If you know about some other platforms and social media strategies, or have practiced them, do share them with me. I would be glad to make this list more exhaustive.

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