For the business owner, social media marketing is an investment.
It’s an investment of time, money, and focus.
And it’s an investment that should be made wisely.
After all, no entrepreneur likes to waste valuable resources – that’s just bad business.
So, how much time, money, and focus should an entrepreneur invest into social media? On the one hand, you want to invest enough so that it has an impact on your bottom line, but at the same time, you don’t want to go overboard and drain your limited resources.
The key to making this decision is to remember that social media is an investment, as opposed to a cost.
Put it this way…
What’s the first thing you ask yourself when you – as the owner and operator of a business – ask yourself when you are asked to invest in subcontractors? Or space? Or supplies?
You ask yourself…
“What’s the return on my investment?”
“What is the ROI of social media?”
And you should treat social media the same way.
You’d have no problem investing $1,000 per month on social media if it brought you $3,000 worth of business every month, would you?
So, what you want to do is make sure that the return you get on your investment always makes it worth your time, money, and focus.
And remember – “return” doesn’t always mean dollars and cents. It can mean customer service. Or brand awareness. Or lead generation. Or any number of valuable returns that aren’t always easily quantifiable.
In any case, here are 5 ways you can manage your investment in social media to make sure you are getting the most return on your investment…
Invest where your audience is
Do not make the mistake of overwhelming yourself with this type of thinking.
At the end of the day, all that really matters is where YOUR audience is.
Pay close attention to your target audience. A good indicator of where your potential clients will be is knowing where your current clients are.
If you are in the restaurant business and notice your clients taking pictures of their food and posting on Instagram, you need to be on Instagram. If your music students are asking how to reach you on Twitter, you need to get your music school on Twitter. If you are in a neighborhood where most of the local shops and small businesses are conversing and engaging with locals on Facebook… you get the idea.
It’s really that simple.
Focus on the Big 5
When it comes to business, social media is dominated by 5 major platforms. These are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram.
If you want to be economical with your resources, or if you’re not sure of where to start or focus your social media marketing efforts, your best bet is to focus on the Big 5. Because, chances are, your target audience is very active on at least one of these 5 heavyweight platforms.
Automating your posts using social media tools such as HootSuite or Grum will save you tons of time when executing your ongoing social media campaigns.
Of course, there is a dark side to fully automating your social media presence, and that is it will become apparent you’re not REALLY present for your audience, if you are careless.
You want to avoid giving the impression that you are “phoning in” your social media presence by closely monitoring and periodically checking in to make sure that questions, customer concerns, and general engagement with your audience is well-maintained.
Find a balance between automation and “going live”, depending on your ROI.
Rather than completely abandoning the social media platforms that show low return on your investment, consider automating your posts while lightly moderating. In most cases, it’s the lesser of two evils.
Keep taking action
Just because something worked great for a period of time, doesn’t mean it will always work great.
Make sure your content doesn’t get stale and is still relevant to your desired audience.
Stay on top of social media trends so that the current algorithms don’t work against you.
Revisit your branding, check in on your post times and post frequency, and make sure you know how to use hashtags properly.
Whatever you do, don’t get complacent on social media.
Complacency is death.
Monitor your results
Sometimes, as business owners, we get so caught up in taking action, we forget to monitor our results.
Closely monitor what’s working for you and what’s not working for you on social media.
Really get an understanding of where you are getting the best results and gauge if you need to invest more, or invest less.
Always be aware of your ROI.
Figuring out how much time, money, and focus you should spend on your business’s social media presence does not need to be overly complicated. Take some time to get to know your target audience, and focus on the social media platforms that they feel are relevant to them. Concentrate your efforts on the social media platforms that fall into the category of the Big 5: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram. Rather than completely abandoning the social media platforms that show low return on your investment, consider automating your posts. Whatever you do, keep taking action and don’t be afraid of changing direction with your social media strategy. And finally, carefully monitor what works and what doesn’t work.