Let me explain: The Aberdeen Group, a marketing research company, released a study on April 3, 2012. The goal of this study was to take a look at the contribution which a company’s social media presence has on their bottom line. In this study, the Aberdeen Group selected leads as the focal point. The question which the study sought to answer was this: How many leads does social media marketing generate, on average?
It turns out that that answer is about 17%. That is, 17% of leads for a company with a strong social media marketing campaign come from that campaign. They also report that most companies who utilize social media marketing to any degree, even a very small degree, see an increase in business.
This doesn’t mean, however, that it’s a good idea to slack off. Aberdeen also reports that the companies with the strongest social media marketing campaigns can see a 230% increase in the number of leads they receive. How’s that for a return on your investment?
It all sounds pretty good, but we’re missing an important element: How do we take advantage? How do we work to make our social media marketing campaign one of those that see big, fat returns? It’s actually not as hard as it sounds, but it can be fairly time-consuming, and requires knowing who you are as a company on a personal level.
Take an Inventory of Your Brand
You might think of this as “planning” your social media marketing campaign, but the truth is that social media is dynamic: You have to be able to react to a metric ton of information flying around. This requires that you know your company’s brand. If you’re the CEO, the good news is that you’re the face of your company, and in many ways the company’s brand is whatever you want it to be. If you’re not the CEO, you might need to get with your CEO and hash out some details (and documents) on being the face of the company. The trick is to be consistent, even as other people start to manage your social media marketing posts. So ask yourself a few questions about your business:
- What’s its vision? What is your company trying to do?
- What’s its value proposition? What makes your company different from its competitors?
- What’s its voice? If your company could talk, what would it talk about, and how would it talk about it?
The first two questions help answer the third, and the third question is absolutely crucial. Why? Because social media marketing is all about giving your company the ability to speak, we need to make sure we know what it’s going to say.
Participate in the Bigger Discussion
Obviously, one of the key points in a social media campaign is to post content to your social media outlets. However, the hardest part about this for most businesses is the process of getting “plugged in” to a community. It often is not sufficient to simply solicit customers for follows and post promotions to your page. While this does yield modest additional leads, we can do a bit better, and that bit better involves seeking out things which would interest your business, and offering your comments on them. Oh, and like things your business would like. In short, participate. It will surprise you how much it will help your social media marketing campaign.
Promote Your Business
This means posting news about your business, things that you thought were interesting in the form of shares, and the like, as well as direct promotions such as deals and coupons. This is the part that most businesses on social media are already doing and doing well, so I don’t think I need to dwell on it too much.
However, the key to being a social media presence is far more than just promoting yourself. It’s about creating a personality and a “face” for your business. It’s about addressing complaints posted to your Facebook wall. When you put up a page on social media for your business, you are trying to convey the humanity of it. So be human, and have a little fun with it, and you’ll see big returns for your effort.