The other day, I was listening to a podcast and the question was asked if SEO is still relevant. The thought was that with the importance of social media in your marketing, should you invest into social media over search engine optimization.

The counter argument was that you can’t generate revenue from social media and as a small business you need to invest in SEO because that is how your customer are going to find you, through the search engines.

Well, today I want to chat about small business social media best practices that with help generate growth and revenue for your business. If you execute against a social media plan, you can generate revenue from your efforts.

Know Your Audience

56% of companies create higher quality leads using Personas. Knowing who your customer will help your company create better content for social media, resulting in better leads and ultimately generating more revenue from social media. If you know your audience is younger, be more playful. If you know your audience is moms, show more babies. Knowing your audience is critical to any marketing plan.

Pick The Right Social Media Platform

We all know the stats, there are over 1.3 billion users on Facebook, 250 million users on Twitter, and 200 million users on Instagram. The question becomes, are you using the right social media platform for your business? Are you using the platform that your customer use? Picking the right social media platform is not just about how many users you can reach. It is about picking the platform that reaches your customer, the right customer. Your business will not generate any revenue if you are not on the right social media platform.

Bonus Tip: Pick one or two main social media platforms and dominate. The more social media platforms, the harder it is to manage. Work up to using all social media channels.

Set The Right Social Media Goals

They say if it gets written down, it gets accomplished. However, more than 80% of small business owners don’t keep track of business goals. In order to be successful with social media, you need to know what you are working on. Have specific and timely goals with your social media marketing. For example, I want to increase my Facebook following to 100 followers in 2 months. Your goals will help you stay focused and achieve your social media marketing goals and generate more revenue.

Brand Your Social Media Profiles

Your brand is the reason you get up in the morning and work 60 hours a week. Your company brand is more than just a logo, color scheme, and font type. It is you and your vision. Make sure that your social media audience knows your brand and what you stand for. You have some real estate on each platform that needs your attention. Ensure your profile picture and cover photos show why you are in business. Sometimes you only get one impression, make it count.

Daily Posting with Quality Content

In order to achieve success on social media, you are going to need discipline. There is an industry rule out there that says you should post to Facebook 2 times per day. Well, this only works if you have a large audience. The majority of us do not have a large audience, so posting to Facebook once per day will actually generate higher engagement and help increase your social media following.

Here is a good starting point for most small businesses for social media posting frequency.

  • Facebook – 1-2 times per day
  • Twitter – 3-5 tweets per day
  • Instagram – 2 times per day
  • LinkedIn – 1 time per day
  • Pinterest – 2 times per day

Engage With Followers

The best way to generate revenue from your social media efforts is to engage with your social media audience. That’s right, care about them and have real conversations. Social media is a way for companies, large and small, to act like people. These platforms give your business the ability to act like an individual. Let’s make social media, social. Let’s use social media to engage with our audience. Remember, you are lucky that anyone is actually following your business and cares about your business, make sure to give back.

Engage With Non-followers

Okay, we love our followers. We know that they are the best thing since sliced bread. What about the non-followers? Social media gives your business the ability to jump into any conversation, without being that creepy dude at the coffee shop. Look for certain #hashtags, keywords, or users that have questions. Use these mediums to answer questions they have or comment on their posts. This is a great way to get seen in the sea of social media updates. Become the industry leader by showing you know a thing or two about a topic.

Monitor Your Data

I know what you are thinking. Data is for nerds. Wrong! If you want to generate revenue from social media, you need to get to know your data. This will show you what is working, what is not working, and what people actually care about. I am going to tell you now, the data from your social media audience is invaluable. 10 years ago, your company would have paid thousands of dollars for the data Facebook provides for free (do you remember focus groups). Numbers are cool guys. #DataIsForMarketing

Get To Know Your Social Media Competition

A competitive analysis will give you a look at how your competition is marketing their business. I will let you in on a secret, most businesses never look at their competition. In order to get better at social media, you need to know what your competition is doing and figure out why they are doing it. Follow your competition and get to know their plan of attack in order to create revenue-generating posts.

Social Media Takes Time

Growing a social media following is not going to happen overnight. As a marketer, one of my biggest pet peeves is that business owners expected results day one. Let’s be honest, growing an audience is going to take time and effort. So if you are only going to stick with social media for a month or two, don’t bother. Save your time and dedicate it to networking or cold-calling (that sounds like fun). With any marketing tactic, you will need patience in order to see a return on your investment. Remember, social media is like a snowball. Once the momentum starts, it continues to grow.

Social Should Be Part of an Integrated Marketing Strategy

Integrated marketing is an integrative marketing paradigm that considers the full scope of a business as opposed to narrowly focusing on the development or execution of particular marketing activities. Your entire organization should be thinking about marketing, not just the social media manager. This means that the CEO to the janitor should be part of your social media strategy. Social media is about community, not individuals. Your company needs to think of it this way as well.

Integrate your social media into tradeshows, sales, marketing automation, and any other marketing tactic you use to generate leads. Social media is just one of the levers that you should be using to drive revenue.

Set A Social Media Budget

Social media has become a staple in any marketing plan. However, many marketing plans only cover the basics and require social media to grow organically. These marketing plans do not allocate the funds needed to drive new followers and engagements, also known as revenue. The state of social media today requires that your company set aside funds to drive your social media strategy.

Track Your Revenue Conversion With The Right Tools

The biggest reasons companies do not see revenue from social media is because they do not have the tracking tools in place. Here is how it works most of the time. New customer visits your Facebook page and lands on your website. They then pick up the phone or walk into your office. Well, that revenue came from a phone call or walk-in, right? Wrong, it came from social media. Your business needs to use a CRM or tracking mechanism to know where your dollars are coming from. Your business needs to track revenue back to the origin, the original source or first touch.

Conclusion

About a week ago I noticed in our marketing/analytic platform that a new lead (real estate brokerage) came from an organic Facebook posts. The lead was then placed into a marketing automation funnel and nurtured over the next two weeks. This lead converted to a paying customer three days ago and will have a lifetime value near $5,000.

To say that you cannot generate revenue from social media is ludicrous. Here is a living example of how using social media best practices can help generate revenue.

Are you finding it difficult to find the time to execute against your marketing efforts? Set up a free marketing consultation to see how you can get more out of your marketing.

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