When you think about the key element to a successful social media marketing campaign, what do you think about? Is it your brand / products / services? How about various social networking platforms? Or what about increasing your number of followers and feedback you receive via social media marketing?
At JE Consulting, although we believe that each of these elements are equally important to the success of a social media marketing campaign, we also believe that the key to success within social media marketing is that one element we all find we don’t have enough of during the day………TIME!
When we talk about time, we’re not just talking about taking the time to create profiles and accounts on various platforms, but we mean taking the time to engage, interact and inspire your audience, taking time to carefully plan your social media strategy – including researching each area of social media marketing which is relevant to your industry.
But most importantly we’re talking about taking the time to build up your social media marketing campaign. After all, as anyone in business will tell you, success doesn’t come over night. It doesn’t matter how much money you throw at something, how much you invest in the latest tools and techniques, it is still going to take you time to build up success – and social media marketing is no different.
If you want to measure your marketing campaign on the number of people who follow you on Twitter or be-friend you on Facebook, then the time it takes to build up a “successful” campaign may not be that long.
Notice how we’ve added inverted commas around “successful”? That’s because it is easy on each of the main social networks to build up a quick following of what are often referred to as “spam-bots”.
These won’t offer any benefit to your marketing campaign, instead they will only add to making your account look like it has a large following. Unfortunately, when real customers take a closer look at your friends and followers, and see they are spam accounts, the real business opportunities will look elsewhere.
To be truly successful within the social networking side of your social media marketing campaign, you need to:
a) Give the campaign time to grow, to attract the audience and for interest to build
b) Take the time to carefully monitor who you follow and who follows you. If your followers aren’t updating regularly (i.e. if it has been months since their last update) then they aren’t worth following because they aren’t adding anything to your campaign, they aren’t seeing your updates and they certainly aren’t sharing them.
c) Take care to carefully select and word the updates that you share. This includes checking the spelling and links. Although social networking does use slang and abbreviations, it is still important to remain as business orientated in your language as possible.
By taking your time when building up your social networking followers, when updating your status’ and giving your campaign time to naturally grow, as a business you’re more likely to receive positive feedback, which if you take the time to nurture can turn into positive leads and more importantly ROI.
It isn’t just the social networking area of your social media marketing campaign that you need “time” is a key element; it’s the same throughout every element, including blogging.
As with social networking, a successful blog isn’t going to happen over night, instead it is going to take time to build up a following and authority. Thankfully there are a few ways in which you can help speed the process up, with the main one being to carefully select links and place links to your company blog into your social networking updates.
Along with taking time to carefully select links to your blog to add within your social networking updates, helping to promote this platform, you should also take the time to carefully research the areas that you’re going to blog about. After all, it isn’t beneficial to yourself or your audience if you only write blogs about your business or its products / services.
Instead you need to take the time to research other areas which influence your business and your audience / are relevant and write a blog about these, even if it is taking a talking point in the news at the moment and adding your opinion. For example, if you’re an accountant instead of always blogging about the accountancy services you offer, why not write an opinion piece on quantitative easing or tax avoidance issues? Or if you work within the care sector, why not right an opinion piece about NHS reforms, etc?
If you don’t fancy writing an opinion piece, why not offer tips, advice or guidance, or produce and share light-hearted content which will make your audience not only smile, but want to share the information with those they know.
By taking the time to write a blog which focuses on the industry you work within, but doesn’t directly relate to your business, you’re likely to find that your blog becomes more accessible to a wider audience, gains more authority (shown within its page rank) and therefore becomes more successful and beneficial for your business.
Time spent on your social media marketing campaign, doesn’t have to be hours upon hours each day; instead ten to twenty minutes first thing in the morning and another ten to twenty minutes during the afternoon is often enough to steadily build your social media marketing campaign.
So if you want to succeed with your social media marketing campaign, instead of panicking that you haven’t taken advantage of the latest tool, spend the time in carefully selecting your followers, who your following and what your sharing and you’ll see the rewards (within time) roll in.