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Which are you: the “jump right in” type or the “think and plan obsessively” type?
How about when it comes to social media? Did you grab your Facebook business page as quick as you could, then hop onto Twitter and Pinterest five minutes later, or did you take the time to sit down and think through how to use them and why?
Even if you’re a little behind on the planning, don’t fret. It’s never too late to apply a little brainpower to your marketing and come up with answers that will move your business forward.
Here are a few quick “What the heck am I doing??” questions that you can ask to be sure you’re on the right track. Note the answer that fits you best and see how you scored at the end!
What Is The Month-Over-Month Growth Of Your Fan Base?
A. Exactly 203 new people between July 1 and August 1.
B. Um…. More?
C. Could be more, could be less. I don’t know.
Do you remember how excited you were when you got your first Facebook fan who wasn’t your family or high school buddy?
A total stranger… liking your page!
Beyond that initial thrill, how well have you tracked the growth of your Facebook page? Or your Twitter following? Or the number of people who have circled your Google Plus page?
It’s as simple as keeping a spreadsheet but you should know whether your fan base is growing, shrinking or staying the same.
Even if you’re not looking for monumental leaps in numbers, it’s still a good idea to be sure you don’t have a lot of dropoff. That could mean people aren’t finding any value in your efforts.
It’s also a good idea to check the results of any promotions or incentives. If you run a contest in exchange for a Facebook like, did you get any? You’ll only know if you track.
Where Does Your Audience Hang Out?
A. Primarily on Facebook but I’ve found a great niche community on Google Plus, too.
C. I don’t even know who my audience is.
Now that you’ve jumped on all those social profiles, have you figured out whether your customers are really there? Or are you shouting into an echo chamber?
Even though you may be winning fans and making friends, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re your target audience! In our business, we meet a lot of like-minded people in various social groups – fellow marketers, developers and writers. But none of them are going to pay us. In fact, lots of them are our competition.
So be careful that you don’t get so caught up in the idea of growing your fan base that you forget that who they are matters more than how many they are.
How Is Social Marketing Contributing To Your Bottom Line?
A. I generated three leads last month and made $500 in consulting fees.
B. I’m making money and people are buying from me, I just can’t prove how.
C. It’s not. I post all day but I have no idea what the point is.
Even if you’re using social media for customer service or brand awareness, you still want to know what it’s adding to your revenue.
It could be adding by way of sales or referrals. Or adding by subtracting – reducing the amount of time you spend on the phone answering questions or the amount of money you spend printing out full color flyers for your next event.
Perhaps more importantly you want to know that you’re not spending time on social marketing that’s yielding little to no results when you could be spending that time more profitably managing your blog or your email list.
What Times Of Day Are Most Active And Get The Best Engagement?
A. Tuesday through Thursday at 1PM is awesome. Weekends are a close second, but only before 8PM.
B. Mornings I guess?
C. No idea. I post all day and hope someone is paying attention.
You can only determine this through trial and error. Probably lots and lots of error.
You can read studies, examine infographics and analyze other people’s test results until you’re blue and purple and still not know when the best time to post to Twitter or Facebook is.
It depends on your audience and your test results. Do you know what’s working and when you’re talking into dead air?
What Types Of Content Get The Best Engagement?
A. Open-ended questions for sure. I’ve had some of the best conversations and even generated a lead!
B. I’ve heard that people like photos so that must be true.
C. No idea, I don’t really check comments and replies.
Notice I said “best” and not “most” engagement.
You can grab the low-hanging fruit and post a silly photo or funny quote and people will gladly like and share away.
But are 50 likes on the photo of your pancake breakfast as valuable as the three people who commented and conversed with you on a business-related topic?
That’s for you to decide – but I vote for quality of engagement over quantity.
When Was The Last Time You Updated Your Cover Photo Or Profile Image?
A. May 16, 2013.
B. I do it sometimes when I think of something cool.
C. What cover photo? Was I supposed to do that?
You’ve got one on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. You’ve got a photo on Pinterest, too. It’s easy to take a “set it and forget it” approach – after all, who has time to keep updating all this stuff? But changing it up could add value to your page and presence.
You might want to promote something special. Or reflect changes in your brand. Or just make your page and profile more interesting so more people notice.
Whether you choose to update your profile and cover photos should be just that – a choice. Not something you leave up to “whatever” and forget about until someone asks the question. Make a conscious decision about how you want to handle yours.
How Much Time Do You Invest Each Day In Social Media Tasks?
A. An hour to curate and another hour to check on my community and engage with them.
B. A few minutes here and there between checking emails and doing other things.
C. A lot. I’m online all day and constantly on a social network. It never seems to end.
If you’re like lots of people, you can easily “get lost” in your social streams. Next thing you know it’s lunchtime and you don’t know where the time went even though you felt busy all morning.
Without a schedule you’re leaving it up to chance that you’ll accomplish the tasks you need to accomplish and avoid the time-sucks.
You should know, on any given day, how much time you’re investing in creating, curating, posting, engaging, responding, audience-building and any number of social marketing-related tasks.
Better yet, you should be defining it. Don’t just “know” that you spend six hours on Facebook! Improve your efficiencies so that you can spend an hour there and accomplish more.
How Many Times Per Day Do You Post To Each Channel?
A. Three to Facebook and once to Pinterest.
B. A few here and there when I have time.
C. Whenever I think of it. Some days I post a lot and some days not at all.
You’ll be at your most efficient and be able to try and test different posting times and content types if you’re following a schedule.
How Is Social Marketing Impacting Traffic To Your Blog Or Website?
A. Google Plus drives 10% of our traffic each month.
B. My traffic goes up each month, so social must be working.
C. How am I supposed to see my traffic?
Hopefully the answer is, “It’s increasing it.”
But do you know that or do you just *think* it? It’s pretty easy to get a “sense” of whether your traffic is going up or down. You only have to look at a Google analytics graph to see that. But do you know what can be attributed to social and what can’t?
How much traffic are you really generating by posting to Facebook? Or Twitter? Or any channel that you’re using?
And how interested is that traffic in your product or service? Are they staying and reading or bouncing off? Are they converting?
There are questions within questions! And you can answer them all if you’re tracking and paying attention to your social media marketing efforts.
Give Yourself The Following Points For Each Answer
Your Score Results
0-44: You could be wasting a lot of time and money and never even realize it! Stop and get your social ducks in a row before you do anything else. Start with a strategy, create your plan and then choose the social networks where your target audience can be found.
45-79: You’re probably in the same boat as a lot of people. You have a decent idea of what you’re doing and why, you just need a bit more organization and strategic planning. Find your weak spots and improve. It will only make you more effective.
80-90: Rock on! You know what you’re doing and even though there may be some room for improvement (there always is), you’re in a great place. Stop reading and go have a cupcake.
How did you do? Do you get a big gold star or are you thinking that it’s time to put a little more brainpower into your efforts? Do you struggle with any of these concepts? Let me know how I can help you put YOUR plan together – whether you need a real education or just a little boost!