Social media is not a fad for the B2B marketer. According to a recently covered report from Clutch, 78 percent of enterprises consider social media to be more critical for business success compared to other digital marketing strategies.
B2B marketers are increasingly turning to social media channels as a key tool for distributing content as well.
But, despite all of the perceived opportunity, social media can still be challenging to adopt.
Earlier this year, The CMO Survey found that while social media spend will account for 20.9 percent of marketing budgets across industries in the next five years, 40 percent of marketers indicated that social media’s contribution to their organization’s success has been “below average.”
If your organization has already begun investing in social media, you are also understanding the fact that success in social media is not as easy as initially perceived, particularly when it pertains to performance measurement.
Your time investment in developing networks in social media tactics has to be measured against your time requirements elsewhere.
If you are concerned with social media ROI and ties to broader digital marketing results, this presents a quandary of sorts. How can you justify the hours of social media brand building when faced with other commitments and priorities?
The “SEO value proposition” of social media is that you get your message out to communities and individuals entrenched in an innovative online environment. You become a part of the community which understands online relationships, and that community brings forth new connections, networks, and inbound link opportunities.
Here are 5 ideas that you can use to begin building your social media strategy, without getting yourself in overboard or sacrificing too much of your time upfront.
But be warned! Because once you start getting involved and seeing some successes, you may just realize that there is a value in social media after all.
Dedicate a 15 Minutes Each Day
In the end, you must make social media a priority and not just a task. Otherwise, it sits on the shelf with monthly reporting or some of administrative task. Here are some ideas for your 15 social media minutes for the first couple weeks:
- Day 1: Take a look at one of these popular lists of social media sites and identify a couple places of interest as a starting point.
- Day 2 – 7: Read one or two social media articles and / or tutorials just to get up to speed with what has been going on in the space and with the sites you are particularly interested in.
- Day 8 – 14: Spend your 15 minutes simply surfing the places you identified on Day 1 in order to get a feel for the particular site. Make sure to read the about pages, terms of service, and other supporting details just to make certain you agree with everything. If it turns out you don’t really like the site, go back to the lists from Day 1 and select some other place to go.
- Day 15 and on: If you haven’t done so already, create a profile on that social media site and start contributing. The next 4 ideas help make this a more effective and productive experience.
Apply Social Media to Your Personal Interests
Just because a social media site seems popular doesn’t mean it’s going to work well for you and your business. It’s easier to get involved in social media community if you actually like what you are doing.
- Dive into Reddit because of the topical news and information it provides.
- If you’re a fan of photography and graphics, consider ways Pinterest and Instagram can best align with core business objectives.
- Prefer engaging in more comprehensive discussions? Don’t ignore social media platforms like Quora or even LinkedIn Groups for uncovering new opportunities.
Apply Social Media to Your Personal Behavior
Not only should you consider your own interests, but also consider how social media can be a part of your workday routines, without being intrusive to those routines.
- If you’re always on the go, start thinking about how WhatsApp or even SnapChat could be a part of your routine.
- Instead of getting all of your early morning news from CNN or Fox, take a look at what the popular news is in places like Reddit and LinkedIn Pulse.
- If surfing the web is a favorite activity when time is available, download the StumbleUpon toolbar to tailor your surfing interests in a way that gives you random results based on topics you know you already enjoy.
Set Small Goals First
Driving thousands of visitors, hundreds of links, and dozens of new leads via social media sites should not be the only goal scoped for defining success. Set personal goals designed to make sure you use your time effectively and efficiently when initially getting active in each community. Some suggestions:
- Share and/or comment on one good discovery you find through Twitter per day.
- Use a resource like FollowerWonk to locate one new profile of interest and influence to network within your applicable social media platforms.
- Contribute to two discussions through Quora or a preferred LinkedIn Group each day.
Celebrate & Evangelize Your Successes
Each time you realize a boost in traffic to your organization’s website, obtain that inbound link or gain that respected connection, share that success story with your colleagues and co-workers.
If you’re lucky, you’ll find that success is contagious and other people in your “offline” world may want to try figure these social media thing platforms out as well. Do your part to help those around you better understand how they can contribute to your organization’s new social media network.
It’s not easy to get into the habit of “social media.” While the end goal can be understood, the intermediary steps often become unclear and overburdening.
Setting progressive milestones and tailoring social media toward your own interests and behavior helps make the creation of this strategy a reality.
Even though you must make some time for social media, celebrating the little successes often provides enough support for continuing your efforts and bringing others into the mix.
What are your thoughts on how to make social media a part of your everyday business strategy? We would love to hear your comments and suggestions as well as success stories related to your own social media endeavors.