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Andi Gray: Getting social media to pay off

Andi GrayAs a small business, I can’t afford to waste money on social media. What we’re spending seems wildly disproportionate to what we’re getting. How can I manage social media and the vendors I work with?

THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: Figure out the metrics you want to measure that will indicate if things are going well or not. Think about who might be your ideal audience and then test to see if you can attract their attention and convert them to action. If you’re just starting out, you’re going to do trials with different vendors and under different conditions to gain some experiential data. Create a plan of attack, and follow it, then revise it to improve results.

Someone in your company is going to have to track and report on results. When building metrics, think about the following:

• How many people are becoming aware of your company?

• What’s opportunities are added to the pipeline?

• How many prospects are engaged to discuss ways to work together?

• How many deals get done?

• How much revenue and profit contribution?

Add up all costs incurred to work on social media. Include staff time, vendor costs, any software and advertising, any training costs. Add in a factor for overhead contribution.

Compare stats resulting from social media efforts to what you spent. Divide spending on social media by each individual stat for awareness, pipeline additions, prospect engagement and number and value of deals getting done.

Design a profile of your ideal customer — which may mean you need multiple profiles for multiple buying scenarios and products or services. It will help everyone involved to think about real people who are or could do business with your company.

Each profile should be specific enough that you’re confident you and everyone else working on social media knows exactly who you’re trying to target. Include demographics such as age, sex, geography, socio-economic and education background, likes and dislikes, places they go for information, things that get their attention, problems they’re trying to solve, goals they’re trying to achieve, ways they talk about their experiences, how they go about buying. Use existing great customers as your models.

If you use an outside firm to build your customer profiles, make sure they work quickly and efficiently. You may find it’s faster and cheaper to have your own staff build profiles, since they already know a lot about your customers. Whoever works on the project, ask them to create a one-page description of each buyer profile. Once you have a profile, it’s time to get the attention of others who match that profile.

Run tests and compare results to determine what works best with various social media outlets. Compare advertising with gaining visibility through posts. Think about how various social media channels work — some are for quick views, others are places to learn and make deeper contacts.

Take a look at what your competitors may be doing. Gather ideas on what to promote, who to promote it to and what to stay away from. If you’re planning to spend money on advertising, look for venues that most closely align with your target client to maximize your spend.

Write out the exact steps you plan to follow to grow your company’s social media presence, then stick with them. Decide how much you can afford to spend. Identify free and for-cost activities you want to try. Set a goal for the payoff you hope to achieve. Use your metrics to report on successes and failures. Repeat what works. Change what doesn’t.

BOOK RECOMMENDATION: Looking for a good book? “Social Media Marketing mastery 2019: 3 Books in 1 — How to Build a Brand and Become an Expert Influencer Using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube & Instagram — Top Digital Networking & Personal Branding Strategies” by Robert Miller.

Andi Gray is president of Strategy Leaders Inc., StrategyLeaders.com, a business-consulting firm that teaches companies how to double revenue and triple profits in repetitive growth cycles. Have a question for AskAndi? Wondering how Strategy Leaders can help your business thrive? Call or email for a free consultation and diagnostics: 877-238-3535, AskAndi@StrategyLeaders.com.


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