There are certain questions that I'm asked over and over again. One of these is:
Social media takes up so much time, and I don't even know if I'm doing the right thing or if it's working. What can I do? Sound familiar?
Let's deal with the first bit first. Does social media really take up so much time? It can certainly be a time sink if you spend ages reading everyone's post but if you've got a proper content plan and you have a real purpose to everything you post, it only takes a few moments to add your contribution, and create some engagement online.
So when we talk about how effective it is, what do we really mean?
Most people want more business, more visitors so I think what they're really asking is whether social media can help them achieve that?
The quick answer is 'yes' but... it works in different ways.
A quick way to know a little about the effect of your social media is to look at your Google Analytics and see if social media refers 'traffic' or visitors to your website. If you use more than one social media tool, you'll quickly see which is the most effective.
However, social media works in other ways too. Some people will hopefully see your social media and come straight to you, not necessarily looking at your website.
You can't get more business or visitors if people don't know about you. Social media can help you reach out to more people, raising your profile. It can help you to make sure potential customers understand what you offer and why it's special and different. You can use social media to build trust in your business, which is fundamental to encourage anyone to spend money. It can help journalists find out about you, and give them ideas for features. It can remind people about you, or act as a trigger to get people talking about you. You can use social media to develop your mailing list and to create collaborations with others.
Marketing isn't about one single activity - it's about layers and layers of smaller steps that collectively persuade people to book or buy. Social media can help with many of those layers of activity.
So when you ask whether your social media is effective, perhaps you should instead be asking yourself if you've spent enough time deciding how you want it to be effective and what you want to achieve? What are you trying to use social media for?
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Please note: all articles are copyrighted Susan Briggs