Many people ask me about the benefits of social media marketing. As a small business owner, you always have to be evaluating your ROI on your money and time. Maybe social media marketing comes easy to you, then you need to make sure that your marketing is focused and you’re not spending hours socializing on social media. That can distract from your bottom line.
On the other hand, maybe you don’t get it. It’s really hard for you. You spend hours just figuring out what a hashtag is.
Asking yourself about the benefits of social media marketing is really important, but we need to do it in a way that recognizes your skills and enjoyment, as well as your technological limits.
We’re going to discuss the benefits of social media marketing as well as ways that you can outsource some of the work you want to do on social media.
Acquisition and Conversation on Social Media
First we have to discuss the “why” behind your specific social media. Social media is one half of the business equation. Take the typical counseling private practice. They want to both acquire new client leads but they also need to convert them into paying clients.
Social media is one way of acquiring people that are interested in your business. Blogging, personal networking, and traditional media are all other acquisition strategies. Social media is cheap and quick.
Here are common benefits of social media marketing:
- Brand awareness
- Community connections
- Specific project or product that is being launched
- Building expertise
- Engagement with potential customers
After you’ve looked at the benefits and goals, let’s look at targeting communities within social media.
Targeted Social Media Marketing Communities
Each social media platform has it’s own changing culture. For example, for years Facebook was growing through college students. Then mom and dad and grandma jumped on. So Twitter started taking off.
Each platform has its own changing demographics.
Here are some basic rules for each community:
- Facebook: It’s a hub where you should have some presence. Groups seem to be the best strategy right now.
- Twitter: Great for short content with the use of hashtags, use this for witty and quick items
- Instagram: Best for targeting the 18-30 crowd, very visual so make your images and videos pretty darn artsy.
- Snapchat: Best for the under 18 crowd and is growing with more B2B folks.
- Pinterest: 80% female and half of those are moms, so it’s great for how-to, infographics, and other content
- LinkedIn: Great for business relationships.
There are more popping up everyday, especially around video, Facebook live, and Periscope, which are great ways to connect directly with your audience.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing it Shows Relevance
Another benefit of social media marketing is that it shows relevance. If you are on a social media platform and creating content that is useful, within the culture of, and a part of that community, it helps you to stand out to your particular customer base.
Let’s look at an example of a benefit of social media marketing. If you have a counseling practice that helps women dealing post-miscarriage and you create a bunch of great and beautiful infographics about grief, talking to your spouse and family, and ways to have better self care, Pinterest would be a great place for that information. Then you’d have it point back to your website or blog to help that person learn more about you.
You’ve become terribly relevant to that potential client!
Social Media Content Creation
When you’re looking at other benefits of marketing on social media, it forces you to create better content. You’re not just going to throw up crap. Instead, you’ll work to create posts, images, and videos that look good and represent you. In doing this it’ll help you build your perception of expertise.
Direct engagement with your potential clients is one of the biggest benefits of social media marketing. It allows you to hear customer complaints, discover what others are doing, and directly engage with people that have questions.
For licensed counselors and social workers, it’s really important that you know the ethics within your field. It’s not worth the benefits of social media marketing if you’re acting unethical or in violation of HIPAA. For example, you should never friend you clients or seek them out on social media. It’s bad form and often unethical and could break HIPAA standards.
Clear Social Media Calls to Action
Another major benefit of social media marketing is that you can have very clear calls to action of CTA. A CTA is when you offer something clear and focused. For example you might want to sell an e-course on how to reduce social anxiety in the workplace. Maybe you sell it for $197.
Your flow might be:
- Give stats in the form of graphics and links about anxiety in the workplace on Twitter and LinkedIn.
- Offer a free five day e-mail course with tips on reducing anxiety in the workplace (this is the CTA). I use Aweber for this.
- At the end of the free e-mail course invite people to a webinar about the topic.
- At the end of the webinar, talk about the e-course and offer a discount to join.
Let’s look at the ROI and numbers for this:
- Say you have 10 people per day opt-in to your e-mail course over a month, that’s 300 people
- Imagine half of them come to webinar, 150 people
- Then 10% of those people buy your course, 15 people
That would be 15 x $197 = $2,955
What about the time it takes to do social media?
- Your work would be creating the email course: 5 hours
- Doing the webinar: 1.5 hours for planning and implementation
- Setting up the payment and landing pages: 1 hour
- Filming, writing, and setting up the e-course: 10 hours
- 17.5 hours of work $168.86 per hour. However, once the e-course and emails are built, your only time would be the webinar and social media promotion!
People Feel Like They Know You
The last benefit of social media marketing is that people get to know you. They feel like they are in your life. I frequently talk about how I met my wife Christina.
My friend Phil said, “I know this girl who can get us cheap snowboarding tickets and she’ll drive us to Crystal Mountain.” As a high schooler, I thought that was amazing! As things go, Christina and I started dating, we broke up because she liked Phil, and Phil didn’t like her.
Over seven years, Christina and I would get coffee over breaks from college. One of us would be dating someone else. Then, in 2003 we went to the movies and held hands. Four months later we were engaged and four months later we were married.
Every human relationship goes through the phases of:
- Awareness: I know this person exists
- Trust: I know this person has my best interest in mind
- Partnership: I want to spend more time with this person
Social media has the power to build awareness, trust, and partnerships
What if I suck at social media?
Here are some great resources to help you with your social media goals:
- Upwork is a website where you can outsource images, content, and other aspects of social media management.
- Fiverr is a website where you can get images, logos, and a bunch of other great content for $5.
- Here’s my podcast on how to find virtual assistants.
You can do it! There are so many benefits of social media marketing, let’s get going!