York Small Business Enterprise Centre
January 15, 2020
The York Small Business Enterprise Centre is back with another edition of Ask the Expert! This new blog series aims to answer the most common questions that we receive from new or prospective entrepreneurs. On today’s edition, we feature Rick Tanton, Strategy and Media Consultant with Loyal Order.
Social media and marketing is critical to the success of most businesses. We often hear new business owners and entrepreneurs ask questions about which social networks they should use, how much to spend on advertising, and even how often they should post. So we asked Rick, what are the five most common questions you hear on marketing and promoting a businesses online through social media?
In this blog post:
A business’ social media strategy often involves posting overly promotional things to start, then stopping when they don’t see an immediate boost to their business. But think of it this way – nobody wants to hang around that self-congratulatory person who can’t stop talking about themselves.
What you need is a content strategy – a plan that lays out:
The last point can’t be overstated: Every single thing you post should have a reason it was posted. A goal you have in mind – maybe you want people to like and comment, maybe click a link, or maybe watch a video. Only by knowing what your goal was are you able to decide if the post was successful or not.
Then dedicate yourself to sticking to your plan, posting when it says you should, and setting time out to engage with people and respond to their comments and questions. There are templates you can find online, or feel free to email me for mine if it’ll help.
Starting a new social media strategy for your business is already hard, and I never recommend making it harder by learning new networks on the job. When you start, use the social networks you already use personally and that you’re already familiar with. For most people this is going to be Facebook. Then, once you’re dialed in, start adding those you’re curious about or interested in. But for a bit of a primer:
One alternative I often recommend on LinkedIn is, instead of posting from a company page, using your personal account to network and engage with your connections. By doing so you will help build your personal reputation, and by extension, that of your business.
Never has the adage “fake it until you make it” been more accurate than here. There are really two ways to go about it, and both have benefits:
Again, there is no shortage of content online to guide you in getting started if you don’t want to make it up as you go. Do a Google or YouTube search, or email me for access to some presentations on how to get started in social and search ads.
Like they say – “how long is a piece of string?” There’s no right answer for all businesses to this question, as companies who sell $20,000 cars can certainly afford to spend a bit more than an Etsy shop selling $10 baby bibs. The real answer starts with what success means to you. Do you have a product you sell? A service you provide? Start with how much you make from each sale (this is often called a Conversion, meaning you’ve converted a prospect to a sale).
In the example above you paid $100 to make $80, netting you a loss of $20. That on its own wouldn’t be a great campaign, but you’ll likely have some things you’ve learned and can change for your next campaign. As you continue, you should eventually find the acquisition cost drops and your return on investment increases. Then you move your budget up!
Contrary to what you’ve heard there is now magic bullet or secret sauce to getting those 1,000 or 10,000 or 100,000 followers. It’s really about two things:
All told, succeeding on social media for your business is really about changing your mindset. Most people go in thinking they have to drive sales now, and when it doesn’t happen, they lose confidence and faith and give up. Go into with the long game in mind, knowing that building an audience will take time, but that it’s worth it. Then learn as you go, acting like a real person, engaging and conversing, and creating your own new community. The rest of the details will start to fall in place quickly!
Thank you to Rick Tanton for generously donating his time and providing valued insight. Stay tuned for the next edition of Ask the Expert, and subscribe to the York Small Business Enterprise Centre newsletter here so you can stay up to date on the latest posts!
Did this inspire you to launch your own business, or jump start your existing one? Book a free one-on-one consultation with a YSBEC consultant today!