How long has it been since you first started contemplating social media marketing for your business? I only ask because your answer should shed some light on the correlation between when you embraced social media as a marketing platform for your business and your perception of the value and benefits realized to date.
Still, and after however much time has passed, you are likely still puzzled by certain fundamental questions. What escapes even the savviest of marketers is the “magic mix” between application and moderation. How much is enough, and how do you know when you’ve gone too far?
For the sake of the point that I’m trying to make today, it will be necessary for you to take a subjective stance and contemplate what I say with that filter in place.
Enough and Too Much
You can naturally accept that the only results you will ever see from social media will come from the pro-active and intentional use of social media. It also stands to reason that if you were to do more, undertake more, and push harder that the yield would also grow. This is only true up to a point though. Too much is usually quite evident to the casual observer…and to the perpetrator as well. The problem is that the line marked “stop here” is not so clear and is easily stepped over by the zealous as he sows and reaps.
Over-sharing, posting too often, posting and sharing the wrong content, using social media as broadcast platform for your marketing message…this is the type of activity that gets to be too much. It gets there in a big hurry too. Posting interesting and valuable content that is relevant to your audience of customers and your customers-to-be takes finesse and a light hand. KNOWING your audience is paramount as you seed your content to generate interest, awareness, and LEADS.
The more you know your audience and what resonates with them, the better your intuition about how much to push out there and when. You can’t use other people’s standards. Best practices, data, case studies, and the like, these are good things and they do serve as great guideposts. Unfortunately, social media does not lend itself to a one-size-fits-all mentality. It’s going to take a fair amount of good ole’ trial and error before you can hope to find your own magic mix – time begets intuition. Intuition and knowing your audience will dictate the “what” and “how much” you need to share in order to achieve success from your efforts.
Not embracing social media or refusing to participate, for whatever reason, is no longer an option for businesses hoping to market themselves effectively. I’ll just let that statement hang as a simple truth. Today I am speaking to those who really are making a go of it. If you are like many that fall into this group, you are likely concerned that your efforts don’t seem to add up and produce the same yield that your peers and competitors enjoy. This can be quite frustrating and bothersome indeed.
I mention a “magic mix” that exists, and that mix is different for every business. Put another way, this mix is your social media strategy. A social media strategy speaks to the overarching objectives that you have as a business as well as the goals you set for your use of social media use. Your strategy will also help you stay on tack by defining the tactics you will use to meet your objectives. This strategy should not be static. It is an evolutionary animal and its motivation and parameters are found and reiterated based on the balance that you find as you explore what is too much and what is not enough for YOUR business.
Not enough social media to make it worth your while is a sad place to find yourself. Many a business owner feels that all of their efforts are for naught and that the time invested has been a colossal waste. Enough should FEEL like enough…and it shouldn’t be hard to find and define all of the ways that social media has been a help to your business. An excellent way to determine that you are falling short is by comparing yourself to your business peers and competitors.
Make allowances for competitive research as you execute your strategy. Simply by having a look at what your peers and competitors are doing should help you to define the “not enough” metric. How much do they share? What channels are they using? Which of their efforts seem to be gaining the most traction? What types of content are generating the most engagement within their community? Do they seem to have an evident strategy?
Emulating what your peers and competitors are doing is a very good way to get started, but only inasmuch as you UNDERSTAND what it is you are seeing. As your experience deepens your intuition will grow. Your ability to win and to dominate comes with the wisdom gained as you pay attention to your surroundings online. When you know how to position yourself differently and better than your competitors…you’ve arrived at a very happy place!
Last week Invesp released the infographic below. I include it here today so that you can also assess your efforts from an objective point of view for perspective.
I wish you the best of luck with your pursuits. We’re here to help if you ever decide to hire a professional to help you leverage social media, search engine optimization, and content marketing to help grow your business. We’ll also assess your web presence if you’d like, no strings attached!