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You can lead a horse to water – you cannot make it drink!

The conundrum of using Social Media to market your business - effectively...

Particularly small businesses struggle to understand, whether they should invest time and money into Social Media. This is very understandable.

In days gone past, it was easy to measure effectiveness of marketing measures you took – no matter how small or large your business was.

You sent out a Direct Mail shot – and the resulting enquiries and their outcome gave you the data to determine whether it was worthwhile.

Cold calling, whether by telephone or even in person, also gave you numbers, which you could use to work out effectiveness.

Simple mathematics!

Direct marketing does work, especially in a business to business environment.

However, it has become more challenging, due to legislation.

You can, no longer, just collect addresses and send a piece of mail.

This type of marketing has, in part, been replaced by email shots. Mail Chimp is a great tool for this.

For smaller businesses, it is free to use. You can keep up to 2,000 subscribers across all lists in your account and send up to 12,000 emails per month. In any 24-hour period, you can send up to 2,000 emails. All you need to do is register and off you go.

But, you cannot just send an e-shot to anyone, whose email address you have. The law requires you to ensure that the person/business has ‘opted in’ to receive this type of communication.

Today cold calling in person is regarded as respect less to your future customers, as it shows you are not valuing their time.

Cold calling on the telephone not only gives the same impression, but has also become challenging due to ‘Gatekeepers’ and legislation.

So how do you get your business in front of prospective clients?

How do you engage with end users?

This is where Social Media steps in!

But how do you measure the effectiveness, the Return on Investment?  

If you are a large business with the funds to deploy specific software solutions, which gather customer data and analyse engagement across the various platforms, proving ROI on Social Media expenditure is possible.

However, if you are a small business, this becomes more challenging.

In this post we are looking at Facebook

Facebook, as a social media platform, can be very effective, if you are wishing to engage end users and small businesses.

You have a Facebook business page, which you created from your original Facebook profile – GREAT!

Over time, due to the interesting contents you publish, you gain ‘Likes’ for that page – GREAT!

Will they be your future customers? They may or may not be!

A ‘Like’ simply means they like your content and would like to keep in touch with it. You may have 400 likes, but that does not mean you will have 400 customers!

Generally, people do not like being ‘sold’ to. Social media gives them the opportunity to get to know your business on THEIR terms and engage with it, when THEY wish to. This makes things a little unpredictable…

One of the most important measurements on Facebook is the number of people reached by your posts. By adjusting the relevant settings, you can, to a degree, influence which audience sees your business page and posts. However there is a marked decline of Organic (unpaid) Facebook Reach. You may wish to read more about this via this link

My case in point is, that my customers receive business from people, who had not 'liked' their Facebook Business Page and did not contact them via Facebook. Hence, paying Facebook, from time to time, to gain a larger reach of possible customers, may be well worthwhile.

Simply by asking the question:” Where did you hear about us/where did you find us?” established that the Facebook Business Page was working well for them.

So, do not take your Facebook Insights too serious! They are helpful, particularly in assessing which posts did particularly well – so you can create more content like it. They are a guide and give you a snapshot to see, whether the content you are posting is growing your audience. 

We shall cover Twitter and other platforms in future blog posts.

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