Facebook. Twitter. YouTube. Pinterest. LinkedIn. Google+. The list of social media outlets seems to grow every day. And the list of “to-dos” for social media and web marketing also seems to grow, too. Do you ever feel overwhelmed at all that needs to be done?
You’re not alone. There are many small business owners and nonprofit directors who are squeezed for time that their marketing often gets pushed to the side. But there are simple ways that you can address these items and do your best to put your website forward.
What’s your goal?
When you’re thinking about marketing your website and engaging in social media, what’s your goal? Do you intend to engage potential customers? Are you seeking to encourage repeat business from current customers? Are you building brand recognition? Do you want to manage customer service? There are many possibilities when building your online marketing plan, but before you get started with anything, knowing your desired outcome will help you narrow your focus to the most relevant activities. Otherwise, you’ll probably end up doing too much and reaping too little. If you’re not sure what to do, ask a marketing professional for help.
Where is your target audience?
When you know what you want to do, you next need to find out where your target audience is. Are potential buyers for your shoes on Facebook or Pinterest? Are facilities managers who would be interested in your building services on LinkedIn or industry-specific forums? Do your current customers use Twitter? It’s important to find out where your target audience is so that you don’t spend precious time posting pictures of your excavating equipment on Pinterest when your potential customers aren’t even there!
How can you find out where your audience is? Again, a marketing professional can help you research this. But you can also ask your own current customers. They are a wealth of information. Use their experiences to get into the minds of more people like them!
What are you willing and able to do?
Once you have a handle on your goal as well as where your target audience is, it’s time to figure out what you are willing and able to do. What I mean by this is ask yourself some honest questions. If you think that a blog on your website will give great returns, do you have the time and ability to write several posts a week, or at least a few per month? And are you prepared to handle moderating comments? If so, great! If not, can you pay someone else to do it? If neither is a possibility, then perhaps it’s not the right time to start a blog.
The same is true for other marketing tools. Twitter requires frequent attention if you want to use it to interact with customers. YouTube needs new videos now and then to keep the interest up. Each social media outlet has its own needs, and you have to be prepared to use them well. That’s why you need to think carefully about what you can and want to do. It looks worse to have a neglected Facebook page or outdated blog than to have none at all.
Go for it!
Now you’re ready for it. Start with small goals, ones that should be easy enough to accomplish. For Facebook, pledging to make three posts a week is a good start, for example. Pick one activity with a manageable goal, and do it well. Succeeding with these “baby steps” is easier than tackling a huge plan, and you’ll feel more confident to take the next steps, not to mention learn more about what works and what doesn’t. You should soon be reaping the benefits of your stronger marketing plan!