Today, you must pay to play on social media channels, (whether in time or money) but how much you pay depends greatly on your knowledge and this, in turn, depends on your ability to stay up to date with the changes taking place on an almost weekly basis.
Organic reach on Facebook is at an all-time low, which can be seen by the number of business Facebook pages that no longer have posts being uploaded.
So, Should You be Using Social Media?
A big resounding yes is the answer, but the evolution that’s taken place just means the ‘how’ is changing constantly. Despite this, the underlying basics remain the same, the trouble is these are not well known.
How Much Do You Know About Cars?
Many people know a bit about cars and can hold a conversation about them, but if you get into the actual technology behind today’s car, many of us will soon get lost, because it’s long since left the simplicity behind, of 4 wheels, engine, gearbox, chassis and cabin area with a steering wheel.
Digital marketing has also arrived at the same point – there is a vast array of technology available on platforms such as Facebook that’s not used, let alone understood, with much of it recently arrived.
We can talk about putting posts on Facebook and Tweeting, but when asked WHY are you doing it and HOW will it achieve the ‘why’, the usual response is ‘silence’. Just putting posts on Facebook will not generate business for most and all too many have already found this out.
Without getting technical the following is some of the techy stuff you need to be aware of.
Read on . . .
Tracking and Analytics
These are now part of any successful campaign online. If you don’t measure, you won’t know what’s working and what isn’t.
AI and ML (Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning)
They are here to stay and will have, ever greater impact on our lives in general. In the world of digital marketing, Google, Facebook and many others are heavily invested in their use and we are seeing the benefits on these channels. Google analytics and Facebook insights are becoming more informative, but with all this extra information, we must filter out what’s valuable and what’s nice to know, but not particularly relevant to progress.
AI / ML will soon take over the running of your website, making it a dynamic and interactive experience for the user. Although some of this exists now, where it works well the cost is outside the reach of small to medium businesses, but technology is changing fast, so watch this space.
Where to Start?
It’s a surprisingly simple concept – be very clear about why your using any given channel and what you’re expecting from it. Do you want online sales, walk-ins, phone calls, email collection, brand awareness, education of your prospects etc.
Set Targets and Measure Against Them
The challenge with this is knowing what’s possible. If you start posting on Facebook, but have no plan on how you’re going to build an engaged following, why should it work?
If you know how to place ads on Facebook which drive traffic to your website, but when you look at Google analytics there’s something wrong with the numbers, how do you know where to look if you’re not tracking all the clicks from your different ads and posts on social media?
So, you’ve got everything tracked and you’ve decided you want to generate more walk-ins to your retail outlet, but you don’t measure how many people come in the store, how will you know, if what you do online works?
If you have an ecommerce store, but don’t know how many website visitors it takes to generate a sale, again how will you know if your social media campaign is working?
A Simple Measurement:
The fact is for most businesses today, the website is the first port of call for customers, so if you correlate the number of website visitors with your turnover or other key measurable, you get a turnover per visitor.
Critical – graph the results of turnover or other key figures vs website visitors to check the correlation – see example below:
Assuming a correlation exists and it usually does, a baseline has now been generated that you can work from.
If you now drive more traffic to your website, but don’t see any change in your turnover (or the key measurement), you know you need to dig deeper into the data. Drive quality traffic and assuming you have a conversion process, on or offline, you’ll see your turnover increase.
Not Quite That Simple
Many have seasonal businesses and this also needs to be considered. That means comparing with the previous year figures to check for seasonal trends.
Another point to look for are shifts in mobile use, which can also impact results, especially if you start driving traffic from Facebook where near all will be mobile.
Yes, you should be using social media because it’s the busiest online high street, but like any high street, you need to have something to entice them in and you need a process that converts.
The big takeaway from this is, you need track clicks and use analytics where you measure your success, based on a clearly planned objective.
Without this, you can burn through a lot of money and conclude it doesn’t work, when the actual problem is uncertainty on what you’re doing.
Mark always has an eye for the future and regularly helps customers uncover opportunity. He’s been involved in the development of several unique products which have gone on to sell millions in the food and DIY sectors. He was also heavily involved in helping to grow one of the UK’s top label printing companies. A good understanding of the fundamental building blocks of business and an ability to see an opportunity, has made it easy for Mark to evolve the business from its humble social media beginnings to the Internet Marketing Agency it is today and will be tomorrow. A short time spent talking to Mark and you are left in no doubt about his enthusiasm for the subject.