The most common reason business owners come to me is because they know their social media should be working, but it isn’t and they need help. Over the years I have realised that there are some business fundamentals which apply to social media. To be honest, that really isn’t that surprising as marketing on social media is really an extension of any marketing program and in the end, it’s still a person you’re trying to influence – regardless of platform.
I think that’s key and it tends to be forgotten in the hoopla we are presented with having a business social media presence. Too much emphasis is placed on the technology and tools and not enough is placed on the people. The people are actually the most important part of this whole online effort. You want people to part with their time, effort, or money and not a piece of technology. I feel that business owners, trying to navigate this minefield alone, are distracted by the technology circus and I am determined to break through that.
I want to take you back to some fundamental business principles so that you can use these as the basis of how you work online. I have to admit, when I start feeling like I am losing my way, the numbers aren’t going where they should, I bring myself back to a few key points and things turn around. They always do.
So what are the four pillars you need for social media success?
Right person, right place, right time, right thing
These four pillars may look familiar. That’s because they are tried and tested business principles. They are not new school, they are not grounded in technology, they are focused clearly on your customer. That’s where you need to be. The problem I see with concentrating on the technology is that you are navel gazing, you are focusing on your business and not on the person you need most to grow your business. So let’s get started.
You might think I have got this wrong, but remember it’s a person you are trying to influence and so they need to be the first thing you consider. But what is it that you need to know?
The most important piece of information you need to know is:
are they the decision maker in the purchasing decision
You need to know if, at the end of the day, they are the one who approves the purchase. Once you know this you can then look at the remaining pillars.
No point being in the local paper if it just lays on the driveway. Same as there is no point being on one social media platform when your clients are elsewhere. But how do you know where they are? The simplest question is to ask them when they are purchasing from you. Ask which social media platforms they use. The next thing is research.
I recently reviewed the Sensis Report into Australian Social Media Use. Let’s just say that so long as you’re on Facebook, you’re fine. Here are the top 3 platforms by age:
So while most of my enquiries come about Facebook Pages, there is one consistent error businesses are making, time. You see, most business owners post on Facebook when they have a few minutes at work. It’s convenient for them, they’re online so why not post! Wrong! Most of your clients are at work and then most of them will only have access to social media on their phone.
So when is the right time to post? Like being in the right place, you will know from the statistics (insights) and interaction you get on your social media. Still not sure, then have a look at these statistics.
So, when are you posting on social media? Are you posting in the evening or first thing in the morning? If you’re not, then I strongly suggest you do this for a week or two.
Now I am not advocating the ‘buy my shit’ approach to marketing. Ramming stuff down a consumer’s throat just isn’t the way.
Now you’ve got your business in front of them now is not the time to go backwards and make it all about you. You still need to make it all about them. This is where you need to understand their psychology, this is where your client avatar comes in, this is where (to be honest) it gets hard because you need to make it all about what they want/need/feel/believe.
How do you find that out? Ask them (see a trend?), look at their reviews/feedback, and do some profiling. This step should take you some time and it is likely to shift as your business grows and you experience a range of clients and you learn who you prefer. That’s good if it does. Now I don’t expect you to go alone on this step and I am happy to review and advise what you have.
Congratulations, you now have a solid plan on who, where, when, & what you are marketing to on your social media. Keep asking questions, of them, your business, download my latest Facebook Plan on growing your Facebook Page, and of course you can join me in some one on one work or we can brainstorm in my Facebook Group with a group of switched on business owners who are reaping the benefit of an engaged and profitable social media presence.