Most entrepreneurs understand that having social media for small business is a good idea, but it’s the execution that matters most.
What good is your copy if it’s not talking to the right people? Why post updates at a time when no one’s online? Great social media presence starts with a solid strategy, which begins with reasonable, timely goals. Here’s how to tell if you need to adjust your social media strategy:
Your applause rate is low.
It’s not uncommon to come across a business’ social media account that has more than 10,000 followers or fans yet no one is commenting, favoriting, liking, and so on.
If you have thousands of people interested in your product or service, why aren’t they engaged?
To begin, an applause rate is the number of engagements per post divided by the number of followers or fans of your page. It’s extra important to recognize that no one has determined an “average applause rate” because each industry is so different.
For example, non-profits, educational organizations, and social and entertainment companies naturally get more interaction and engagement than service- or product-based companies like construction and plumbing.
You also have to take into account the long-standing presence of certain brands. While Charmin may only sell toilet paper, they’re global, so it’s difficult (see: impossible) to measure your success against a household name brand.
However, no matter your industry or thought leadership, a few tricks can increase your applause rate.
- Ensure that you’re posting content that’s relevant to your personas. It’s wise to carve out a good amount of time to do some research about your persona’s demographics, devices, language, and other factors of your followers. This will help with adjusting your copy and content.
- Keep it timely. No one is tweeting at 4 a.m., so save your characters for the early afternoon and evening at around 5 p.m.
You don’t reach your goals.
A plan without goals is just maintenance -- and there’s nothing wrong with that, if that’s as far as you want to go.
However, most (if not all) businesses are looking to grow, and social media is an easy place to start increasing brand awareness and generating leads. To measure your efforts, you need goals.
Start by looking at how many clicks to your website, interactions, and contacts came from social media over the past 3 to 6 months.
Consider outlier content that performed significantly better than your usual posts (a viral blog, “social holiday”) when figuring out the average number for each metric then increase the average for each metric by 5 percent within one month.
If you reach this goal, great! Time to up your percentages next month.
If not, it’s time to re-evaluate your social media strategy. Ask yourself these top ten questions:
- Did you post at a relevant time for engagement?
- Did you post content to the wrong platform?
- Did you consider how many of your followers or fans are lurkers?
- Did you use paid social media?
- Did you participate in or hold a Twitter chat?
- Did you hold an Instagram contest?
- Did you partner with a micro-influencer?
- Did you reduce or increase the number of posts?
- Did your employees advocate for their blogs on their personal social channels?
- Did you embed your account links to your company’s website or in your newsletter?
You’re not interacting with others.
Many businesses miss the true point of social media. While it’s great for building SEO and an online reputation, social media is made for conversation.
It’s a tool to interact with people, from those who need quick advice to those who need serious customer service. It’s an opportunity to help other people, to educate them or solve a problem -- not sell to them.
Without interaction, you're just sending stuff into digital limbo. We suggest setting aside some time every day to retweet relevant content or respond to a customer review, whether to say thank you or apologize for a bad experience.
Each small interaction helps your social media strategy succeed because it becomes a place where your followers and fans recognize that they can get help and find new information.
If your social media strategy isn’t working, it’s time to address these problems head-on. Fix the holes in your personas, scheduling, content, and interactions to gain engagement and brand awareness. If you’re lucky, that’ll turn into some new, qualified leads to fill your pipeline.
If you read any of these warning signs and thought, “That’s my business,” it’s time to get help from the marketing professionals at Illumine8.