Is social media your only marketing plan? For many small businesses it is and the majority of their efforts are on Facebook. Facebook views for business pages are down. Way down. Facebook has come clean and said that if you would like to be seen, you need to pay. Fair enough. You can read all about it here.
There are several businesses that this new(ish) pay model will work for. The problem with starting to pay for exposure on Facebook is that it has been an ever increasing cycle in the past. Each account has a minimum amount they are to spend and that amount doesn’t have the same reach for each account. For one business page $100 may reach 1,000 people for another account that reach may be 400 people. One day your minimum amount to advertise may be $40, the next it is $100. I am not going to pretend that I can figure out the algorithm used for all of this or if there is a better way. What I do know, is that it is not going to work for me. So, where do we go from here?
My 2014 marketing plan is to build my e-mail list and diversify my social media promotion. Break up your efforts to different platforms so that if one reduces your reach, you have other avenues to use. I intend to spend my marketing time and dollars on the following platforms. Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter in addition to my website.
Install Google Analytics on your website and learn how to use it properly. Sync with YouTube and MailChimp to get a deeper understanding of what is happening with your efforts.
Choose what platforms you will expand to in 2014. Hint: Two traffic powerhouses are Pinterest and Google+ / YouTube when used with hangouts.
Choose how you will use these platforms. What content are you going to produce for what channel?
Google+: is where we share our blog posts and start our daily hangout series
YouTube: is where our channel is and where people search
Pinterest: is where we collaborate with other blogs
Instagram: is for posting pictures to reinforce our personalities to readers
Facebook: Mommy-ville! Sharing quotes, articles and other bloggers content.
Twitter: We have plans to start participating in chats by March
Take it one step at a time. Learn one platform at a time. Each one has different etiquette and slang. If you have a groove with one platform, then figure out how the next one will fit in along with what you will be posting. Once you are comfortable with how that feels add another.
Don’t stop there. Many small business owners stop marketing at social media.
What this lesson from Facebook needs to teach us is that we never want to run our company on rented property. You own two things on the internet. Your e-mail list and your website. That is where you are going to make your money.
I have a tiny confession to make. I have been lazy about growing my e-mail list. Growing a social media presence is fun. You are publicly rewarded for your efforts and it’s fairly easy. I have done pretty well standing on my social media presence alone. Unfortunately, that strategy does not work in the long run. In order to have true long term and continued success, you need to have a solid e-mail list and use it consistently. Getting people to sign up for an e-mail list is harder than getting them to follow you on a social media platform. But you OWN your e-mail list. You are just renting your space on a social media platform. At any point your account could be flagged or your search ranking could be penalized.
Social media interaction is at the top of your sales funnel. It is meant to introduce the idea of your brand to people and move them to a place where you can sell to them. Social media is one part of your whole marketing plan.
Think of how you buy gifts for people. Do you buy an expensive bottle of wine for someone you met once at a school function that you may never see again? I don’t! Your gifts represent how close the person is to you. That is how you should allocate your time, effort and money when thinking about your marketing strategy. Use your giveaways and budget to get people on your e-mail list. Use social media to drive people to your e-mail list and then use your list!
Social media = Fellow parents in your child’s class that you have never talked to
People you may never see again or who didn’t even want to meet you in the first place. One or two parents that you meet from this group you will actually engage with.
Search (Google/Bing) = School Mommy Friend
someone that you actively will seek out at a school function to talk to, but have never exchanges phone numbers or had a playdate
E-mail list = Mommy Playdate Friend
You have exchanged contact information and make time to meet at a museum or park, but you have never been to each other’s house. This is your opportunity to sell. They know who you are and what you do, but they have not necessarily committed to buying anything.
Current and Past Clients = Neighborhood Friends
These people have watched your kids, and partied with you on a cool summer night. They could also take you or leave you, so if you want to maintain this relationship, a bit of effort is surely worth it!
Where and how do you market your business? Will you change anything?