The allure of social media is undeniable. Its potential to connect, engage, and propel your brand into the limelight is a siren call that many businesses can’t resist. But before diving headfirst into the social media universe, whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring a social media manager, let’s manage a few expectations so you know what you’re getting yourself into…
🙅🏻♀️ Social Media Marketing Isn't About Sales
If you’re rolling out the same ol’ sales pitches and hard-hitting “Buy Now” commands on social media, it’s time to hit the brakes. Social media isn’t just a megaphone for your products. Users go on social media to be entertained, inspired, informed, or connected.
Imagine if your sacred scrolling time was inundated with product, after product, after product. Yawn, right? So, if your entire account reads like a sales pitch, don’t be surprised if potential followers fail to hit that follow button.
And let’s be real, making a direct sale through a single social media post is like expecting a magic trick to turn your cat into a unicorn. Social media isn’t a checkout page. It’s the start of a journey, the top of the marketing funnel, where you cast your net wide to snag attention and stir curiosity.
This leads me to my next point…
🧩 Social Media is Just Part of the Puzzle
Relying on social media alone for your marketing strategy isn’t going to cut it. It works best as part of a wheelhouse of marketing that includes a captivating, website decked out with SEO, an engaging email marketing strategy, some personal networking mojo, and a sprinkle of paid ads. (The formula is unique for each business, but you get the jist.)
Now, let’s rewind to startup mode. It’s oh-so-tempting to leap onto the social media stage without a second thought. I mean, if a business isn’t on social media, does it even exist? But before jumping into the world of hashtags, viral trends, and funny filters, remember to look at the bigger picture.
So, if you don’t start with social media, where do you start? Here’s your answer…
📬 Email First, Social Media Second
When it comes to ROI (return on investment), social media takes a backseat. The real ROI rockstar is email marketing. That’s where the conversion magic happens. Sure, email might not have the glitz and glam of social media, but it does know how to seal the deal.
Now, I get it. Email doesn’t have the same glamorous appeal and opportunities to claim fame as social media. And yes, those promotional emails from other businesses can sometimes feel a little annoying. But here’s the scoop: those emails mean business – literally.
So before you start on social, take a long, hard look at your email strategy. Think of email as the seasoned sales rep who crafts and delivers a strategic masterpiece guiding potential customers toward that glorious “Buy Now” button.
And the puzzle piece that links it all together is your lead magnet. You know, those tantalizing free or low-cost offers that make people go, “I need this in my life NOW.” And then, bam, you’ve got their precious email address. Pair that with well-formulated email automation, and you’ve got yourself the perfect recipe for sales.
So, here’s a pro tip before you go all-in on social media: make sure you’ve got your email game strong. Your lead magnet? Check. Your email automation? Double-check. And a monthly newsletter to top it off? Triple-check! This trio forms the backbone of your marketing funnel, moving leads from curiosity to the checkout page.
🎨 Organic Growth is an Art Form
Organic growth on social media? Think of it as your strategy canvas, painted without a single stroke of paid advertising or promotions. It’s all about nurturing your tribe with authentic interactions, premium content, and strategies that sing. In a nutshell, organic growth is the evolution of your social media presence, purely based on the effectiveness of your strategy, quality of your content, and the bond you build with your audience.
Much like disco, some people might say “Organic reach is dead.” But let me set the record straight – not in this house! Organic reach is still alive and kicking, it just takes a little more time and elbow grease to get there.
Generating successful organic growth on social media takes a lot of creativity— a certain je ne sais quois. Social media trends are always changing, and whatever the algorithm gods want today, could be totally different tomorrow. Sometimes it might feel like taking one step forward and two steps back with your social media strategy, but it’s all just part of the game!
And remember that good art is about more than just creativity, it’s also about developing finely tuned techniques and die-hard dedication to delivering top-tier strategy over, and over, and over.
So whether you are that DIY business owner handling social media management all on your own or if you’ve got a social media manager on your side, brushstroke by brushstroke, a creating a successful social media masterpiece takes time.
💸 Splurge on Paid Ads
When we talk about “paid” strategy, we’re talking about investing in advertising and promotions. In essence, paid social media involves spending money to amplify the visibility or performance of your posts beyond organic reach. (FYI, this does not include the money you spend to hire a social media manager.)
As a small business owner, it’s always a juggle between, “Do I want to spend more time or do I want to spend more money?”. Although protecting your bottom line and increasing P&L is always top of mind, let me offer a word of advice: splurge on paid ads.
Now, hear me out. Why is it that people tend to give the cold shoulder to social media ads? Maybe it’s the misconception of it being a pricey affair or the thought of padding Mark Zuckerberg’s pockets. But the thing is, they work, and at a fraction of the cost it takes to achieve the same thing with organic growth. I’m not saying throw organic strategy out the window, but you can supplement it with a boost from paid advertising as part of a holistic strategy.
Think about it this way: What’s an hour of your time worth? And if you’re thinking about hired help, what’s an hour of their expertise worth? While I love the art of organic strategy (it’s the heart of absolutely winning the social media game), let’s keep it real. Sometimes, reaching those marketing milestones can come easier and faster with a paid boost.
💬 Engagement is Just as Important as Content
Engagement is THE secret sauce to social media. Periodt. If you’re wondering why your social media presence is falling flat instead of going as viral as Kim Kardashian’s— well, TBH it’s because you’re not a celebrity but for the sake of maintaining my metaphor— then it’s time to take a serious look at your engagement strategy.
So don’t just post and ghost. The algorithm has a nose for no-shows. It’s got this uncanny ability to sniff out who’s putting in the effort and who’s simply pulling a vanishing act. And it wants to know if you’re here for the long chats, the hearty laughs, and the thought-provoking discussions. Remember this: The more people you connect with, the more people the algorithm will show your content to. By taking the time to invest in creating conversation, you’ll be showered with rewards in terms of reach and opportunities for growth.
⏳ Social Media is a Big Time Commitment
Sure, in our personal lives, social media is the virtual hangout where we catch up with pals and share laughs. But being a social media manager isn’t all rainbows emojis and dancing gifs. In fact, it’s a whole universe of intricacies that goes far beyond your average snap-and-post.
You might think it’s all about crafting content, and yes, that’s a significant piece of the puzzle. But you also have to consider engagement, continuous comment and inbox monitoring, researching topics, researching trends, researching competitors, reading and delivering analytics, influencer marketing, managing public relations, etc., etc., etc.
And if you’re considering hiring a social media manager, don’t assume you can just “set it and forget it.” You’re basically hiring someone to transform into a mini expert on all things “you.” Your SMM will thank you profusely if you take the time to share your gems of wisdom, fulfill their requests for photos and video, offer polite and constructive feedback, lend an eye to proofreading, and are available to answer those curveball questions that slide into the DMS.
🔥 Social Media Marketing Can Lead to Burnout
The thing is, social media isn’t just a light stroll in the park; it’s more like a marathon that can leave you gasping for air. This holds particularly true because the moment you dive in, you’re signing up for a race that can lead you straight to burnout if you don’t pace yourself. While it might seem like a breezy, fun job from the outside, the truth is, it’s a lot of work!
Imagine constant pings, notifications, and emails on your devices 24/7. Even if you commit to only answering them during certain business hours, or filter your notifications, those pesky little buggers still find a way to sneak into your awareness.
There’s also what I like to call the “content creation hamster wheel.” It’s like a non-stop cycle, where you’re running, and running, and running, all while asking yourself, “What new ideas do I have this month? How can I spice this promotion up? What will make this even more captivating than the last time? How can I say the same thing again, but different this time?” It’s a constant competition to stand out and keep your audience’s attention in a world full of distractions, all while delivering praiseworthy results.
📈 Social Media Marketing is an Investment
As small business owners, the currency of concern often boils down to two key factors: time and money. Do you roll up your sleeves, invest your time, and save some money, or do you open your wallet and hire some help to save precious time? Regardless of the path you choose, one thing is certain: social media management is an investment – in more ways than one.
Even if you’re just dipping your toes into the social media pool with a few weekly posts on select platforms, add the time spent planning and engaging, and suddenly you’ve morphed into a part-time social media manager. (Or just hired one.)
Now, imagine cranking it up a notch with daily posting and engagement across a broader spectrum of platforms; it becomes an even more substantial time and potentially financial commitment.
When it comes to full-fledged multi-platform strategies, larger businesses boast entire teams dedicated to their social media multiverse. So whether you’re DIYing your social media strategy or partnering with a professional, the name of the game is setting realistic expectations about what is affordable and achievable for you as a small business.
I say all of this with the best and most loving of intentions because I want to make sure that any investment you make is well spent! And that you and your social media manager are set up for success.
Now that you’ve had an inside look at the world of social media marketing, if you’re still fired up and ready to go, give us a shoutout, and let’s talk SMM. Or if you’re thinking about taking a step back, focusing on nurturing your email list, crafting that irresistible lead magnet, and setting up those automations, we’ve got you covered with email marketing services.
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