As a proud Welshman, surrounded by sheep in the valleys, I started to think how many business owners acted like sheep with their social media tactics, as they are just following what everyone else is doing!
So, what do I mean by this? We all know that social media (engagement & exposure) is important to many businesses, but is it really the be all and end all of everything? So many of my clients say ‘Deri I’ve just come back off this Twitter day course I did, it’s brilliant Twitter’ and I say ‘Why are you doing that?’ they reply with ‘Cos this guy told me that Twitter is really good and that I need to be on Twitter’. Twitter-Twatter – I don’t really care! The important thing is working out WHY you are using it!
Now you’re reading this blog/watching the video so don’t get me wrong, I’m not a complete heathen I love the social channels; when it’s appropriate to my business. You might have come to this page as a result of loving them too, but it doesn’t mean that it should be the prime part of YOUR overall marketing strategy.
It’s important when looking at a social strategy that we ask ‘why’, and ‘what’s the most important, and best return on investment and time’. What do I mean by this?
First of all, get clear why you are building the business, what’s your purpose and what does exit look like? A big part of the answers to this will dictate whether or not you (as an individual) own the social channel you are using or whether the business owns the channel; where does the Intellectual Property stand, where is it actually held and who owns it?
Secondly know your overall culture, brand, ethos, and marketing strategy. What does that look like? To me the very definition of strategy is a clear plan for a major result. Having a Twitter channel and putting up Twitter ‘stuff’ is typically more of a tactic. Now for some of you, it might be a primary strategy because of online marketing and I’m cool with that, but it’s not for the masses. This is why I’m banging on the drum saying to think about what you’re doing within the social sphere and understand that it must be linked. Ask yourself what social channels are you using and whether they are appropriate. For some people operating a b2b business, Linkedin is a brilliant channel and evolving all the time. If you are more consumer facing, then maybe Facebook is a better channel for you. If your business is very visual, Instagram could be your channel of choice. It’s got to be relevant and it’s vital to have a bigger marketing strategy and to choose the right channels and tactics based on this.
Finally, you need to think about your return on investment and return on time, and this is a big one. I’ve had some clients of mine spending an hour a day on social media and I ask them to think about what their return on time and investment is for this. After this I ask them to think about how many clients and orders they have got out of it. Often they reply with ‘it’s about presence Deri – I need to be out there’. Really? With one client we flipped the hour he was spending on the social channels into picking up the dammed telephone and making some calls and guess what? He got some new clients within a week.
So understand I am not saying that social’s bad and you shouldn’t be doing social. I love social, you’ve seen me, and I’m here because of social. But I am saying choose it wisely and understand where it fits in your overall mix. Understand the time it is taking from you. A lot of people are really pissing their time away on social when they could be a lot more dialled in on it. Choose your channels and understand that it’s got to fit with the businesses culture, brand and strategy. If you don’t have a big over-arching marketing strategy it’s just tactical.