Like it or not, social media has changed the way you do business. If you don’t adapt, you will find your business obsolete. While it appears businesses are using social media marketing, it’s evident the return still isn’t there. In a recent study by Aberdeen, it was found that 84% of marketers use social media, yet 28% say that lack of a strategy is their barrier to monetization.
So, how can your business push past that barrier and supercharge social media efforts? To answer that question, I joined social media strategist, Sabrina Gibson last week to share ways anyone can monetize, prioritize and maximize social media results.
The turnout was overwhelming and the response proved that profiting from social media remains elusive. Ready to make sense (and cents) out of social media? Eager to finally monetize your online efforts?
Below is a summary of our conversation and the Slideshare, plus a few additional tools to help you stay focused and on track!
1. Make a plan
When it comes to growing your business on social media, business owners have a variety of excuses. Whether it’s a lack of time or money, both become obstacles to monetization.
"To profit from social media, you have to invest in social media." Tweet
What are you losing by not having a plan and system to manage your social media actions and interactions?
- You don’t have a consistent stream of prospects.
- You are wasting time and money collecting friends and followers.
- You are working for your social media vs. having social media work for you.
- You spend all your energy focused on getting new business vs. serving those you’ve already connected with.
2. Measure your success
"If you don't measure things you can't move things forward." Tweet
Are you tracking likes, shares, comments and +1’s? Are you checking your time spent on social media vs. the results received? You can't manage what you don't measure and what you don’t measure can quickly get lost in the noise.
3. Track your average client acquisition cost
Are you currently tracking your client acquisition costs? Do you know what an average client in the first year is worth to your business? While business models vary, client acquisition principles are always the same. If you can’t measure where the lead originated and what the cost to gain that lead is, you can’t manage, tweak it and move it forward.
Two things you need to do –
- Identify where your clients are coming from. There isn’t a “one size fits all” conversation when it comes to social channels. What resonates with your Facebook community might fall flat on LinkedIn or Google+. Know your audience and which social network is sending referrals your way.
- Once you understand where your clients are coming from, you can get hyper-focused on tailoring your message to that community. You can spend more time there, but in a strategic, laser-beam focused way.
4. Analyze your results
Are you consistently reviewing what you’re doing on social media and what you’re doing without fail that’s generating real results?
Analysis Allows You To:
- Clearly see what’s perception and what’s reality.
- Gives you a firm handle on where your leads are coming from.
- Determine whether those leads are benefiting your business or just creating busy work.
- Which leads (if any) are converting?
- What content is resonating and the result it has on your bottom line.
Social media analysis consists of monitoring key metrics.
An example of metrics you track
- Referrals from social channels.
- Leads coming from your Google+ or Facebook page.
- Mentions across social media.
- Audience/community growth.
- New blog subscribers.
5. Become an expert networker
Have you ever walked into a networking event and immediately started shouting details about your business? Of course not. Can you imagine what the response might be? I would think that most would turn and walk away. Why? No one is interested in being sold.
They want to get to know you and they need to know that you've taken an interest in who they are. The problem is, most people show up to any social networking site, screaming about their business. They blast out their products and services, never taking the time to get to know their fans and followers.
Typical Networking Fails
- More concerned about promotion than the people.
- You show up and throw up. (no listening involved)
- Focused on getting business, not building relationships.
Why You Stink at Networking
- You fall down on the follow-up.
- You're not clear about who you help and what problems you solve.
- Consistent efforts vs. one-off tactics. (you think one social network or tactic is a social media marketing strategy)
6. Stop collecting “people”
While we don't collect business cards online, we do collect friends, followers and fans. But, what are those friends or “business cards” actually worth? Let's imagine for a moment that each of your connections were worth $1000. Now think what that would mean to your bottom line if you could truly tap into those connections and leverage your relationships?
Dr. Ivan Misner, the Founder & Chairman of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization, says you only need four referral sources to succeed.
Top Referral Sources
- Staff members – because no one understands your product or service better than someone who works for you
- People you’ve given referrals to in the past
- Anyone who has given you a referral in the past
- Your community – people that are connected to you and already know, like and trust you.
Engage your top referrers and help them share your story. There's nothing better than a third-party referral that can edify you and your business. Make a commitment to stop collecting, and start contributing. It's the relationships, not the numbers, that matter.
7. Use a daily monetization checklist
Can you begin to see how a social media strategy that includes relationship building could change the scope of your business? So here’s your quick, down and dirty 8-step checklist.
Daily Monetization Checklist
- Make it your goal to build relationships, not just collect people or followers.
- Connect with 16 people per month for the purpose of GIVING. Your goals are to build a relationship, not sell your services. That opportunity will come once you’ve earned the right to pitch your business.
- Use your online contacts, social channels and networking efforts to locate those 16 people. Who have you been meaning to reach out to or get to know better?
- Follow up with each contact at least 8 times. Why? In 2007 it took 3 attempts to get your message through to someone, today that’s increased to 8 times. Don’t give up!
- Make great use of personal thank you cards. Take an interest in their interests; get to know what makes them tick. Be personal in all of your communication.
- Slow down. Sometimes, in order to speed up you have to SLOW DOWN. Stop pushing things to happen and know that relationships take time.
- Create a strategy checklist that outlines your follow-up. How will you interact and reach out to these 16 people consistently? What will you do to stay top of mind?
- Rinse and Repeat. In order to succeed, you must continue to expand your network and improve your relationships. Don’t stop your business building efforts!
What are you doing every day without fail? What have you committed to and what actions are driving results? You need to get out of bed every day and get yourself in the right mindset, knowing that each social media action is intentional and on purpose. What steps can you take today to put you one step closer to monetizing social media? If you're ready to boost your social media results, join us for our 3-day social media monetization boot camp!
Below is a list of the tools I use on a daily basis.
- Google Analytics - Measure traffic, page views, unique visitors.
- Google Alerts – Track your personal name, company or brand name, website and social mentions.
- Sprout Social - Sprout Social is my daily go-to management and monitoring tool.
- Simply Measured – Analyze each of your social networks, measuring everything from mentions to sentiment.
- BuzzSumo – Track your competitors, keywords, industry influencers and social shares.
- PostPlanner - Find and share Facebook content that's proven to perform.
- SEMRush – Run a detailed competitor analysis, identify top-rated keywords, plus various other SEO metrics important to your business.
- Local Visibility Score – Check how your local company shows up in the search engines.
About Rebekah Radice
Rebekah Radice, co-founder of BRIL.LA, has traded narcissism for purpose. When not driving growth, you'll find her tricking family into thinking she's Emeril Lagasse - likely covered in marinara. The spotlight was fun, but impact is better. These days she's using 20+ years of brand brilliance for good.