Raise your hand if you use social media for business purposes (e.g.: research, prospecting, learning from customers, engaging, sharing industry or company news.) How much time each day do you spend using social media whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat etc.? 20 minutes? 30 minutes? 60 minutes? more?
What goals are you accomplishing?
Don’t panic. You’re among many business professionals using social media without having a goal in mind or aware of how much time you’re spending online and unsure as to whether if it’s useful. Perhaps anecdotally you’ve noticed a few likes and comments on your shares, maybe you’ve even had a business inquiry from time-to-time. But how much of your social media activity impacts your business in a meaningful way?
*Average time spent on social media:
The average person spends 50 minutes browsing social media networks each day (around 23 hours per month.) If you’re investing that kind of time into social networks explicitly for business purposes, a good place to start is having a plan.
Basic Social Media Plan Example:
Sue is a sales person for a medium sized insurance broker. She wants to reach her clients and prospective clients using Linkedin and Facebook. Sue currently spends nearly 60 minutes a day online, commenting, sharing and liking posts. But she has no idea whether her social media activity is accomplishing anything (shy of garnering a couple likes and comments.) [Social Media For Insurance Brokers]
Sue needs to get a basic social media plan together.
(1) Sue needs to identify the objectives of the organization. (e.g.: safe to assume that increased revenue is at the top of this list.)
(2) Sue needs to identify social media goals. (e.g.: how social media can support this objective. brand awareness, lead generation etc.)
(3) Sue needs to identify what will make her stand out as valuable. (e.g.: what can she share or add to the online conversation that others can’t?)
(4) Sue needs to identify tools that will help her use social media efficiently. (e.g.: scheduling tools etc.)
(5) Sue needs to identify which metrics will help her track her efforts. (e.g.: Amplification Rate, CTR, economic value)
(6) Sue needs to identify how she will measure success. (e.g.: key performance indicators such as reach? traffic to website? request for information?)
(7) Sue needs to take time analyze what’s happening online. (e.g.: five minutes at the end of every week to get an overview of what’s working and what’s not.)
Here’s what her basic social media plan would look like:
Objective: increase revenue
Social Media Goals: Brand Awareness
Valuable Angle: using content created by the organization, but putting her own spin on it.
Tools: excel spreadsheet, HootSuite, Native Analytics
Metrics: Amplification Rate
KPIs: content shares, reach, calls/emails
Analyze: spend time each week reviewing social sites and tracking things like content shares, engagements, meetings, inquiries and anything directly attributed to social media efforts.
*If you have a marketing/communications team, ask them to give you a hand setting things up! (They may even have access to website intelligence that can help guide your own social media plan.)
Kat, this is a lot of extra work – why is this important?
The unfortunate side of the internet is that there are many experts advising business people just like you that all you’ve got to do to successfully weave social media into your business is post, comment and share more frequently. The truth is that while this can create awareness and value for a business, the problem is that if you’re not measuring you have no way of improving. Additionally, the online world is saturated with messages and it’s easy for most to get lost. And while it’s true that social media doesn’t technically cost anything, it does cost you your time (that thing you’ll never get back!) So if you’re spending nearly 5.5 years of your life on social media, a good place to start is learning how much value you’re actually getting from it.
If you’re not sure where to start (and you can’t afford to be paid in likes, tweets, RTs and shares) give me a buzz!