Step 4: Research How Your Target Audience Uses Social Media
You can’t replace good research when it comes to estimating return on your social-media marketing investment. Forrester Research Inc., an independent technology and market research firm, is a fantastic resource to use when determining how your target audience is using social media. Check out its demographics map at www.forrester.com/groundswell/profile_tool.html. Once you understand the consumer-usage behavior, you won’t waste time using the wrong networks to get in front of your target audience.
A word of caution: You may feel pressure to address all demographics on social media because it seems so easy to link network accounts. Don’t try to be all things to all people. Focus on no more than three social-media demographics within a campaign. You can always target another demo next time.
Step 5: Discover Your Remarkable Difference
Social media is fueled by passion. Find that one thing that your business does better than anyone else and build your campaign around it. For Volvo, it’s safety. Apple capitalizes on its ability to innovate. Disney constantly seeks ways to show how magical it is. Whatever that one thing about your business is, be passionate about sharing it, and the tribe will follow.
Step 6: Infuse the Human Factor
Social media is about people sharing what they enjoy, find funny or support. Don’t feel like you have to do all the work yourself. Allow employees or customers the spotlight to do what social media was designed to do.
Step 7: Identify How You Will Measure Success
Last, but certainly not least, you must decide how you’ll measure the success of your campaign. If you skip this all important step, you’re doing little more than throwing ideas onto a wall to see if they stick.
The beauty of online tools is they’re trackable. Use productivity tools such as Hootsuite, SproutSocial or Google Analytics to add a bit of accountability and measurement reporting to your campaign. Then you can truly say when and if your efforts are yielding a return.
Ultimately, the determining factor of success on social media is: Are you making more money now than before you started using it? Sounds eerily familiar to all your other marketing tactics, doesn’t it?
Once you’ve outlined or formalized a strategy for using social media to promote your self-storage business, you can then choose which networks or tools make the most sense for you. Contrary to popular belief, social-media success is not about creating business profiles on every social-network platform known to man. It’s about using the right networks to build a tribe of believers in your business that will spread the word to their friends so you gain new customers and grow your revenue.
Sheryl Connelly is CEO of Marketing Media Management, a boutique, full-service, online marketing agency specializing in using social media and digital content to help advertise and promote small businesses. For more information, visit www.managemmm.com .