social media consultant milwaukeeToday, my colleagues and I attended the Metropolitan Builders Association to discuss social media and search engine optimization (SEO).  Bill Knoernschild, partner of Orion Group, covered the importance of making your website the central hub of your online activity. He also discussed how social media helps search engine optimization efforts, and how to use social media strategically. I discussed the benefits of using LinkedIn and my personal experiences with it thus far.

What we found the audiences’ most immediate concerns to be was the sheer amount of social networking sites available and the time it takes to manage them all. With that concern in mind, that left them unsure as to which social media networks they should focus on, and how often to use them since they are busy running a business all day.

Our answer to which social media channels each business owner should be partaking in, are the social media channels that are most used by their target demographic. With the limited time that each small business owner faces managing the everyday tasks of running a small business, they simply don’t have time to research social media channels and post content on a day-to-day basis. Again, we stressed the importance of “choosing your battles” so to speak.

We encouraged them to set aside a little time to start and figure out where their audience is. Doing some initial research and experimenting with each tool can help you figure this out. Once you have found the social media channels that seem to be where your target audience is hanging out, then commit to only those social media channels and a reasonable schedule you can adhere to in order to attend to them.

Social media marketing is all about being open and authentic with your customers, engaging with them, and addressing their needs. It’s not about churning out irrelevant, one-sided conversations. Automating the process can also seem unauthentic. Authenticity is key. There’s nothing that turns people off more than a fake attempt to engage with them. You won’t build a loyal customer base that way, or at least a successful one.

The key points to take away from this post:

  • Figure out what social media channels your target audience uses most often, and chose to engage on only those social networks.
  • Set aside time each week that you are able to commit to on a consist basis, even if it’s only 2 days a week for 15 minutes a day. It may even be helpful to let your audience know when you most often engage on these channels.
  • Be Authentic. Engage. Ask Questions. Answer to your customers needs!

If you can’t commit to any of these steps, than don’t use social media at all. It’s a harsh statement, but it’s true. It won’t be beneficial to you, your business, and your customers otherwise.

Questions on social media? Contact Us, and we’ll be sure to get in touch!