How to Make the Most of Social Media in Your Small Business

by Team Caffeine · 1 comment

Twitter Small Business

How’s this for a shocking statistic: Three in five small businesses have seen zero return on investment from engaging on social media. Nothing at all. Nada.

That’s according to a study last year by Manta.

What went wrong?

First, the Good News

In the same study, 39% of small businesses said they are seeing returns from engaging on social media.

The message here is clear. You can get results from social media, if you do it the right way.

Let’s take a look at what that means in practice.

Set It and Forget It Won’t Deliver

Social media has caused a fundamental shift in the way marketing works.

Back in the old days, you paid for a newspaper ad or a Yellow Pages listing, and you watched new leads pour in. You could set it and forget it.

Social media doesn’t work like that.

The old way of marketing was like a guy on the street with a megaphone. You shouted, everyone else listened. They didn’t have any choice about it.

The new way of marketing is about having a conversation, as equals. It’s a two-way street. That means if you want to sell, you have to put yourself out there and talk to people.

Yes, it takes more time. But if you genuinely engage with your customers, you’ll reap the rewards.

There’s No Miracle Cure

With the world of social changing so fast (few people had even heard of social media a decade ago), it’s easy to see social networks as a quick-fix solution. Unfortunately, they’re not.

Social media is about building relationships. That takes time. Even when you’re doing it right, you can’t expect overnight results.

It’s also worth noting that social media won’t cure an ailing business. It can, however, compliment a solid business and bring in more leads.

To Find Leads, Listen

Rather than using social media to shout about yourself, use it as a listening and research tool.

People often use social media to vent. So find people who are venting about problems you can help them solve. These are ideal prospects.

Once you’ve found these people, make contact. Let them know you can help, and do the best you can to help using social media. Don’t push for the sale! You’ve planted the seed, now let it grow.

Need more? We’ve got some great tips for finding leads on Twitter.

Track Your Results

Too many businesses have no clue whether their social media marketing delivers a return on investment. That’s because they’re not tracking their metrics.

Online, there’s no excuse for not following your numbers, because there are so many apps available to do it for you.

You should track:

  • Engagement. How many people are commenting on your social media posts?
  • Clicks. Are people clicking through the links you share?
  • Traffic. How many people are visiting your website as a result of social media?
  • Sales. What percentage of social media traffic results in a sale?

When you track these social media stats, you’ll know whether your social strategy is delivering a real return, or whether you need to tweak your approach.

Lori R Taylor is the founder and executive editor of Social Caffeine. In 2009 she started her own direct response focused social media agency, REV Media Marketing LLC, coining the phrase given by her young son, “You bring the rain, we’ll make it pour.” Follow Lori on Twitter.

David is our acting editor. He’s British, but we don’t hold that against him.

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