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Social media marketing raises at least one huge question:

Are you wasting time and money on places where no one’s paying attention?

Online marketing isn’t one-size-fits-all…

Finding the strategies that work for your business and industry is essential to creating an effective campaign.

Customizing your social media marketing approach is one of the toughest pieces of the puzzle.

How do you know you’re choosing the right social media strategies for YOUR business?

…By asking the right questions, and getting the real answers.

Who Is My Target Audience?

Do you have a specific geographical reach?

Do you provide services to other businesses and entrepreneurs, or are you a B2C company?

If you’re B2B, what type of business are you targeting? What size, what knowledge area, what industry?

If your focus is on consumers, what age group are your ideal customers? What are their interests? How do they spend their free time?

Answering these questions and building your “customer avatar” is a fundamental first step in all marketing efforts…

…And social media marketing is useless if your answers aren’t specific, and specifically applied.

Note: I provide more insights into strategically planning and executing your marketing in 21 Advanced Profit Centers, a resource you can access instantly with just a few clicks.

Make sure you have a clear understanding of who you’re trying to reach, and which social media channels they’re already on.

Social media gives people more of what they’re already interested in…

So find out what they’re into, and craft your content and campaigns accordingly.

Can I Really Reach My Audience Via Social Media?

I’ve worked with clients of all sizes, in a variety of industries, and so have the many friends and colleagues I’ve swapped stories with over the years.

One colleague shared a quintessential story of a client who had all the right intentions, but didn’t have the first clue when it came to pursuing an effective strategy…

He was the owner and managing partner of a small personal injury law firm, and he was paying a large marketing outfit an exorbitant monthly fee to manage his social media pages.

They were posting testimonials, personal injury facts, case results, and other usual lawyer fare on a regular basis…

…And he hadn’t landed a single client from his Facebook page or Twitter feed in six months.

His Facebook fans were all friends and family members, and his Twitter followers were legal marketers, legal publications, and other industry players.

Potential clients simply weren’t paying attention.

And when you think about it, it’s not very hard to see why…

Lawyers provide a necessary service, but it’s a service most people aren’t happy about needing. They don’t want their newsfeed crowded with lawyerly exploits, car accident reports, or million-dollar settlements for wrongful deaths.

Social media content only works if it speaks to your target audience.

For some businesses (like most lawyers), this simply isn’t possible unless they offer “evergreen” information that’s relevant, useful, and wanted.

A social media presence is still useful – when clients seek you out, you’ll be there to be found – but unless your service fills an ongoing need for a fanatical audience with an appetite for the “media” you’re sharing, investing in social media as a way to generate leads is not, at least initially, the best use of your time and money.

Ask yourself: are your products and services something people want news about, even when they’re not ready to make a purchase?

There are plenty of ways to create shareable content in a variety of industries…

Content that will keep people interested and help them form a relationship with your brand…

But if your industry is something people don’t want to be reminded of until they truly need it, don’t throw away your marketing resources trying to convince them otherwise!

Be there to be found – sometimes that’s the best you can do.

Web developer and marketing entrepreneur Vinny La Barbera puts it bluntly:

At the end of the day, any marketing campaigns should contribute to your bottom line and improve your relationship with your customers. If you are unable to find a viable business case for your company’s use of social media, then focus your efforts elsewhere.

How Can I Create Value For My Social Media Audience?

You’ve figured out out who your target audience is, and you’ve determined how readily you can reach them via social media channels.

Now you need to know what to reach them with…

If you’re in the “be there to be found” class of businesses, your job is simple:

Use your blog (and other content) to automatically populate your Facebook and Twitter feeds, either directly from your content management system, or by using a service like IFTTT or Zapier.

That’s it.

You’ll ensure your social media platforms aren’t empty and off-putting when people go to look for them, and it won’t take any extra effort.

When my friend advised the lawyer mentioned above to start focusing on his blog and all but ignore his social media, he saw a 3,000% increase in site traffic within three months…

…And was generating an average of three new leads per week.

All without spending a dime on social media.

Blogs can (and should) be shared on other businesses’s social media channels too, but they’re just the beginning of creating value.

Photos…

Videos…

Funny stories…

If they’re related to your business or industry, even tangentially, they can help you build a social media following, and keep that following interested.

If you take your social media marketing seriously, you’re in the content creation business – no matter what your core operation is.

Give your audience more of what they’re already looking at…

And make sure you tie it back to your brand.

Include coupons, special offers, and news about your business with your other content, and you’ll watch your sales soar.

Finally, make sure you track the effectiveness of your social media campaigns. Link trackers, plugins, analytics reports, and a variety of other tools exist to help you see what’s attracting attention – and perhaps more importantly, what’s best at converting that attention to real revenue.

Stay tuned for future articles, detailing some of the most effective social media tracking tools and services to help you make sure your social media marketing efforts are doing what they’re supposed to do…

And bringing you more success through marketing made easy.

In your corner,

Charlie

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