Will Social Media Marketing Work for You?
Answer These Five Questions
How do you know if social networking will work for you? If you are using social media and not getting results, are you wasting precious time? If you are not using social media, are you missing out on a gaping opportunity? The author of this article has invested about 16 years on LinkedIn and about five years on YouTube. Based on what he has done and the results he has achieved in those years, here are five questions he raises that can answer if social networking will work for you â€¦ and whether you should make room in your already busy life for it.
How do you know if social networking will work for you? If you are using social media and not getting results, are you wasting precious time? If you are not using social media, are you missing out on a gaping opportunity?
I have invested about 16 years on LinkedIn and about five years on YouTube. Based on what I have done and the results I have achieved in those years, here are five questions that can answer if social networking will work for you â€¦ and whether you should make room in your already busy life for it.
- Do You Need to Market Via Social Media?
Social media is great for creating visibility over a large geographic area. But if youâ€™re a solo practitioner or small firm only serving your local footprint (or you only need a small number of engagements each year to be successful), it is unlikely that social media will yield an attractive ROI on your time. You would be better served with local event networking, building referrals from existing contacts, and public speaking.
- Is your Desired Audience of Clients, Prospects, and Referral Sources using Social Media?
It makes no sense for you to be using social media if your audience is not. And your audience is not other BVFLSers â€¦ it is the leads, prospects, clients, and referral sources who actually hire you! That said, LinkedIn is, hands down, the most likely platform being used by your audience, so that is where your â€śawareness creationâ€ť focus should be. And YouTube is a great platform for hosting and archiving your educational content.
- Can You Reserve a Specific Amount of Time Each Day or Week for Social Media interactions?
Social networking has two time traps. If you do not spend enough time doing it, you will not gain any traction because your audience will not notice your activity. On the other hand, it is possible to spend more time on social media than it will ever be worth to you. You avoid both time traps the same way: set a time budget, say 15â€“20 minutes a day, to communicate with your audience. And with a smartphone, you can easily fill your daily quota of social media time while waiting in lines or offices for other activities that youâ€™re doing without infringing on work time.
- Will you Publish Valuable Content that Shows You are Willing to Help, Not Sell?
I have said this before: you do not sell on social media. Instead, you post content related to your practice area or industry niche that provides evidence of your expertise. You comment on other peopleâ€™s posts to start or augment a discussion. And you share other peopleâ€™s posts to help spread their message â€¦ and because you want people to help spread yours.
- Will You Follow Up Off-line With Your On-line Contacts?
Selling your services happens offline. When you get noticed on social media by someone who you believe needs your BVFLS services, reach out by e-mail or phone and start a conversation â€¦ just like you would with prospects that you meet face to face.
I have never seen a marketing technique that is more used/confused, loved/hated, grasped/misunderstood than social media.
I am an unabashed fan of social media marketing. Even though I am an army of one, my geographic focus is nationwide and I could never reach the audience I do without social media.
And yes, there is a secret sauce for success on social networking sitesâ€”it is being useful, not salesyâ€”because it is the way you want and expect to be treated.
So, will social media networking work for you? Perhaps, if you create your own personal action plan out of your answers to the questions above and ignore what everyone is saying and doing.
Everyone has a different idea of what a successful practice is. The practice you want is personal because it is based on what â€śsuccessfulâ€ť means to you. I help practitioners focus on the strategies, tactics, tools, and tech to build/grow/scale their versions of successful practices. If you want some help with that, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.