Are you bursting with social media ideas for your business, but struggling to get buy-in from your team? Perhaps you’re already running some activity, but can’t seem to secure extra resource or an advertising budget? Or maybe your colleagues simply don’t believe that social media works? It’s a common problem, and one we’ve dealt with many times before. Here are four tried-and-tested ways to prove the value of social media and get the support you need.
Can social media help stretch your marketing budget further?
Social media is one of the cheapest ways to market your product but many businesses still rely on expensive, traditional methods. For example, to help increase awareness a yoga studio might regularly create and distribute leaflets to local businesses. But, after a little bit of research, the studio may find that there are a number of local Facebook Groups they can join to promote themselves in for free (perhaps by offering an exclusive discount) – which would help them save on design and printing costs.
Social media also tends to achieve a lower CPM (that’s cost per thousand impressions or views) than other types of advertising – particularly radio, TV and print. And the level of targeting available (especially on Facebook and Instagram) also means that businesses are able to reach a far more defined audience. For example, placing adverts in a local magazine may help our studio reach a large audience, but running Instagram ads targeted at fitness, wellness and yoga lovers in the area is likely to be a far more targeted – and therefore effective – use of money.
Facebook and Twitter Ads Manager both provide a predicated daily reach for all campaigns, which you can use to calculate a potential CPM. Compare this with the cost of your current marketing activity to see whether social could help make your budget stretch further.
What effect is social word of mouth having on your business?
While your business may not regularly use social media, it’s highly likely that your customers are – and are talking about you. Monitoring social channels is a brilliant way to understand what your audience think about your brand; giving you an opportunity to thank people for positive reviews and measure the popularity of your products. And crucially, it also gives you a chance to spot and respond to negative feedback and complaints. If you’re not aware of and actively participating in these conversations, an issue could easily escalate and damage your brand reputation.
Take some time to research how your customers are talking about your business. This is fairly easy to do: simply search for your name on Twitter and Instagram, and also check to see whether anyone has checked into your business (if applicable). Providing evidence of missed opportunities to respond to customers is a great way to highlight how necessary it is to be active on social media.
Are you losing out to your competitors?
If your competitors are actively engaging with potential customers on social media and you aren’t, your business is placing itself at a huge disadvantage.
We’d recommend reviewing your rival businesses’ activity over the past few months, noting the amount of engagement their posts are receiving, the number of conversations they’re having and the amount of UGC being created about them. You can also take a look at whether they’re currently running any adverts using Facebooks ‘Info and Ads’ and Twitter’s Transparency tools. Paid activity is a sure sign that they’re seeing some sort of return on their activity and investment. Being able to demonstrate that your competitors are seeing results on social media is one of the most compelling arguments for launching or increasing your own activity.
Have you checked to see where your website traffic is coming from recently?
If not, and you have Google Analytics connected to your site, you may be in for a nice surprise. Regardless of your level of activity, there’s a good chance that people are already visiting from social media – perhaps by clicking on a link that a friend has shared.
You can check this by taking a look at the ‘Channels’ in the ‘All Traffic’ section of Acquisition and looking out for ‘Social’. Click on that, and you’ll see a breakdown of each network and the traffic they’ve sent your way. You can also dive deeper into the results to see how long these people are spending on your site, the pages they are consuming, and – if you sell online – whether any sales have been made.
If you’re already seeing some social traffic then great! Increasing your activity will help boost this. And if don’t see any at all, this is a good time to ask ‘why not?’, and develop a plan to kick start it.
Is a lack of knowledge the problem?
So, you’ve gathered a bunch of evidence which proves that your business can benefit from social media, but your boss is still reluctant to try it out. It could be that their resistance is simply due to a lack of knowledge – perhaps they don’t use social media personally, or are uneasy about spending money on a platform they don’t understand. In this instance, providing some basic training and showcasing some brilliant case studies may really help.
We offer expert social media training for growing businesses across the UK. We can come to your business and run an engaging in-house workshop, or you can pick from our many public events on our website.