I love hearing from entrepreneurs who are eager to launch social media campaigns for their businesses.
“Get me on Facebook.”
“I want to be a YouTube sensation.”
“My company should be dominating Instagram.”
They just want to get started. Like… now. Yesterday, even.
And while it’s hard to say “hold on a minute” when faced with such great enthusiasm, it is really critical to pause and make sure a business has proper direction before taking any first steps towards social media marketing.
After all, I hate watching business owners waste time and resources. Most of all, I hate watching their enthusiasm go down the drain, just because they didn’t plan properly.
Here are some important questions business owners need to ask themselves BEFORE they dive into a social media marketing initiative:
1) What’s your goal?
I know it looks like people are just hanging out on social media and then *poof* magic happens, but if you’re a business, you have to be very deliberate about what you’re doing.
You need to have a goal for your social media campaign. Ideally, the goal should be simple: like, growing your email list, or directing traffic to your website or blog or sales page.
2) Who is your target?
Who are you trying to reach? Most entrepreneurs will say they are using social media to reach buyers. But you might also be trying to engage referral partners who could help you grow your business, or industry experts who might blog about your product and help spread the word about it.
Whoever they are, you need to know as much as you can about them. Know their demographics (age, gender, marital status, income, education level, occupation, geographical location, ethnicity, etc.) and their psychographics (lifestyle, interests, hobbies, values, attitudes, behaviours, etc.).
You can’t find them if you don’t know who they are. And don’t say you’re looking for everyone! Trying to be everything to everyone will get you nowhere on social media. Be specific with your target. Strive for quality over quantity.
3) Where are these people on social media?
Where is your target market? There are lots of platforms to choose from (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn…), but you don’t have to be everywhere. Just show up where your presence is needed most.
4) What can you create for them?
What type of content will help you reach your goal, appeal to your target market, and be effective on the platform you have chosen? Again, lots to choose from (blogs, videos, images…), but choose according to your talents and what works best in the eyes of your target.
If you can answer these 4 questions with confidence, you’re ready to launch a social media marketing campaign.
If you struggle with the last two questions, a marketer or a social media strategist like myself can help you.
But if you’re struggling with the first two questions, you need to give your brand and business model some serious thought. It’s tougher than it sounds. You might even consider getting a business advisor (I highly recommend Tony Aziz at Vantage Business Leadership).