Make Social Media Part of a Holistic Marketing Plan

social media billboard2In order for your social media marketing strategy to be effective and cost-efficient, it must be used in conjunction with other marketing efforts. Think of social media as one part of a multi-faceted campaign.

We’ve said time and time again why it is essential that businesses have a strong presence on social platforms. But many small and medium businesses feel that because social is so pervasive, it’s the only marketing strategy they need to pursue.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

Social Media Cannot Stand Alone

If your social media marketing is unrelated to your business goals, it will be a waste of time and/or money.

An important step in determining your social plan is deciding how to measure social media activities for their contribution to achievement of specific business goals. You need to develop supporting avenues, such as web, email, PR, trade, etc., which will accelerate your pace to success.

For example, if your goal is to increase e-commerce sales by driving traffic to your website, then your social strategy must cater to these demands. You will need a blog on your website where you post interesting and updated content. Then you can create posts for social channels directing your audience to your blog. You can build an email newsletter highlighting your recent posts. And you can direct PR professionals and journalists to your blog to see your latest product updates or releases.

Maintain Realistic Expectations

Social media is not going to fix your business’ flaws. In fact, it will often accentuate them. If your customer service is lacking, your fans and followers will be quick to notice. Social media invites customer feedback, which can help you improve your business plan. So if your social media interactions are thriving but your website still sucks, you’re not going to see visitors returning to make a purchase.

At the same time, when you’re determining a plan for reaching certain business goals through social media efforts, make sure your expectations for leads and revenue generation are realistic. You’re not going to get hard leads through social media alone – at least not in the first six months.

Think of Social as a Long Term Investment

Social media is a process. It takes time to build an audience. It takes even more time to turn your online supporters into your customers. Social media is an investment and if you want to see results, you must be willing to step out of your comfort zone, dedicate time and effort as required, and adjust your business plan to suit fluctuating demands.

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