A few weeks ago, I was invited to participate as an expert in a women’s roundtable discussion by my good friend and fellow entrepreneur Stephanie Franco of Diversity Solutions Marketing.
In my sessions, one of the most popular topics of discussions was questions surrounding how they could succeed on social media and how it can be used for building an online presence.
Here is what I noticed: The majority of the small business owners that I chatted with realized the importance of using social networks to grow their businesses and were eager to figure out how to use social media better.
However the majority of them were having a hard time figuring out how to make social media work for their businesses.
A few of the biggest frustrations that many of the attendees had regarding social media marketing were:
- Social media marketing is too time consuming and there is just not enough time in the day to do it
- They weren’t sure which social networks to use for their businesses
- They didn’t know how to get started with using social networks
- They are not seeing an ROI for their social media marketing
After listening to the group more, I could immediately tell that a lot of these women were on the brink of giving up with social media, since they were not seeing any real results.
But… because social media is so popular these days, they were not quite ready to throw in the towel just yet.
How the Marketing Landscape Has Changed
Times have seriously changed and social media marketing seems to be on the forefront of many small business owners minds — as it should.
I mean….the benefits of social media marketing are excellent. You can sign up for various online platforms for FREE and use them to get more exposure for your brand.
I was reading an interesting statistic from one of my favorite marketing websites Hubspot that stated that 8 out of 10 small businesses use social media to drive business growth.
In addition to these statistics, I’ve found the following just as surprising:
- 82% of SMBs in “hyper growth” (significant increase in revenue YoY) say that social media is effective for generating leads (Hubspot)
- Social media is used by over 1 million SMBs in North America (Hubspot)
- 3 in 5 SMBs say they’ve gained new customers by using social media (Hubspot)
I can tell you first hand as an entrepreneur that I have seriously reaped a ton of rewards from using social media networks.
Since launching YourChicGeek.com in January of this year with a clear focus and purpose and using social media regularly, I have networked and met with some awesome entrepreneurs, gotten my brand featured in several blogs, and even collaborated with a fellow entrepreneur on a 31DayPRO Challenge that inspires folks to startup.
I am not saying all of this to brag, but only show you that social media does work. And here’s the best part of it all…I spend approximately 30-45 minutes a day curating content to my social media profiles.
Why are Small Businesses Spending 6 Hours + Per Week on Social Media
Several weeks ago, I received an email request from a fellow entrepreneur that I will call Robert.
Robert contacted me and explained that he was struggling with building an online presence for his business and wanted to use social media but wasn’t sure how.
Roberts biggest frustration with using social media was that on top of the gazillion things that he had on his ever growing “to-do” list, that he just couldn’t stay consistent with posting content to all of his active networks consistently.
He knows that using social media networks to build his brand is important, but stated that it was taking up too much time to manage all of his profiles.
After our discussion, I realized that Robert had two main issues: he was manually trying to manage all of his social media networks and secondly he did not have a strategy and plan in place to maximize his efforts.
I gave Robert a simple plan of action to follow and recommendations on what he can do to generate better results and succeed on social media networks.
My Top 3 Tips + List of Guaranteed Ways Startups Can Succeed and Stand out on Social Media
I can’t lie… social media used be overwhelming and almost intimidating for me at one point too!
I didn’t know what the heck I was doing out there in a sea of a million other folks that were trying to stand out online. I was tirelessly trying this strategy and that strategy publishing one piece of content after another and was getting nowhere fast.
But then something happened that transformed everything for me: I started to understand this social media thing and figured out that these were the three things I was missing:
1.Understanding who I was targeting on social media (to begin with). Sooo I’ve mentioned this in one of my most popular blog posts to date >> Focus on These 3 Things and Watch Your Startup Flourish.
In this article I list out the 3 things that I believe all startups should focus on and why. Trust me, you’ll want to check out this article. The simple fact of the matter is that you can’t target everybody and if you do… you will stay “chasing your tail”. Get really clear on this peeps…believe me it makes all of the difference in the world.
2. A strong social media presence and brand. I’ve often stated that just as you are judged offline you are judged online.
After I had gotten my target market down packed, and started REALLY engaging with my followers on social media (I’m not just talking via the use of automation tools), but adding a personal touch by engaging with my followers, things really started to happen.
If I can be truthful here for a moment, when I first started using social networks, I wasnt very “social”. I told myself however, that with the YourChicGeek.com brand, that I was going to approach things differently by making it a point to acknowledge each and every one of my new followers.
And you know what..it works! Your followers want to be acknowledged and not treated as if they are just another number and etc., So if there is one super valuable piece of advice that I can give to you — it is to be the “Superhero” to your fans and followers! Thank them and seriously engage with them…
3. Using the right tools to simplify the social media management process. Yeaaa sooooo this was definitely Roberts biggest problem. He was doing wayyyy too much with posting content manually.
Instead, Robert should have been using social media management tools like Hootsuite (my tool of choice) to manage his social media networks.
As a result of getting these 3 things in order (in addition some others), in just 3 months after launching YourChicGeek, I have:
- Landed a contributing author gig on a very popular and widely recognized publication
- Collaborated with several entrepreneurs via social media to launch various projects
- Received an invitation to write for a blog that has more than 60,000 readers +
So, as you can see, you can definitely succeed with using social media..it’s all about strategy, and most importantly getting clarity around who it is you want to reach there.
I want to note that…success on social media networks should be measured. What I consider successful, someone else may not.
As I’ve indicated throughout the article, getting results on social media takes time and a lotttt of consistent action.
I am hopeful that the 3 tips presented to you will give you a starting point for using social media networks better for your business.
Your Next Steps
Are you struggling to make the web work for your business? If you are ready to get out of a rut, click here to learn more about my Startup Workbook for Champs to get on the fast track to starting up on the web the right way.
In the meantime, please drop me a line below. I would love to know what strategies you are using to make social media work for your business. Cheers!