That’s the billion dollar question, isn’t it? Ask 10 different social media marketing professionals and you’ll get 10 different answers. Truth is, there is no “one size, fits all” model to go by.
Various factors come into play when answering this question…
- Are you marketing B2B, B2C, or both?
- What industry are you in?
- What percentage of your business is derived from online leads? Are you running an online store? Is your business solely online or is there an offline factor as well?
- What demographic does your target market fall into?
- What are the buyer personas of your target customers?
- What are your online and offline goals for the next 6 months? The next year? Three years?
These questions address only the tip of the iceberg.
Why do you want to be on social media, anyways? You may say you need a better social media presence, or you need a social media presence to begin with. But, why? Was your 19 year old nephew visiting for a July 4th BBQ a few weeks ago and barking about how your company Facebook page is awful?
First, address the problem(s) you are trying to solve for your business’s overall marketing strategy.
- Do your customers need a new format for reaching out about technical support issues?
- Are you eliminating direct-mail marketing and looking to implement a similar form of connection with your customers via online methods?
- Do you see value in monitoring what your customers are saying about your company online? How about responding?
- Did you recently launch an ecommerce store as an extension to your traditional business and need to promote special deals? How about implementing a direct-to-consumer (D2C) strategy?
- Does an essential part of your business growth strategy involve rising to the top of relevant keyword search listings, and therefore you are looking to improve on SEO?
Whatever the issue may be, your time spent sharing content, monitoring the conversation, and engaging with customers online through social media will vary greatly from your neighbor's business. Use social media as one of the many helpful tools to solve the bigger picture issue. It should never be the tool or the solution. Important piece of the puzzle? Absolutely. But it’s up to you and your marketing team to address how and which social media marketing tactics should be used to help solve the bigger picture issue.
My good friend, Andy Merrick, recently wrote: “There are thousands of steps to making our goals real. It takes about 2,000 steps just to walk a mile. Every single one is common. There’s little special about any individual one (though walking itself is a miracle). You just commit to the next step and eventually you’ve covered 5,260 feet – a mile.”
Building a successful social media presence, whatever the determined strategy may be, will take time. With today’s technology, we’re getting used to ‘instant.’ A successful social media presence isn’t built overnight. But persistence, attention, and engagement – one step at a time – will ensure a successful social media strategy no matter the amount of hours put in each week.