Is social media free? Depends. It’s free if you’re only considering whether there’s a financial cost. You can set up an account and post away without paying a single cent.

However, thinking of social media as free is a huge mistake. There is a cost. And, it could be more costly than you think.

Your time and attention is incredibly valuable. While you may not be paying money for social media, you can still pay a heavy price if all the time and attention you’re devoting to it is not giving you much in return.

What can make this even more dangerous is how fun it can be. Brainstorming ideas, taking pictures, thinking of captions, making graphics in Canva can all be fun. It’s tempting to keep doing the fun stuff and pay less attention to the other things like the return on investment of that time and attention.

So how can you get social media to work for you and still have fun?

  1. Reacting consumes more time than planning
  2. Knowing your target audience for posts
  3. Giving clear calls to action

 

REACTING CONSUMES MORE TIME THAN PLANNING

Social media should not be treated like Whose Line is it Anyway. It’s not an exercise in improve. When someone says (or you think to yourself) “Oh, we should make a post about this real quick.” Is it ever “real quick”? And, do you get much from that post? Typically not. Plus, the more you rush post the messier and out of control you feel about your overall social media efforts.

The first step in becoming more proactive in social media is understanding it is a tactic, not a strategy. What’s the difference? Your marketing strategy should paint a big picture of who you are, why you exist, who you’re trying to reach, and what you want them to do as a result. Your tactics are specific planned activities that support the overall marketing strategy. With the strategy as your guide, you can more easily plan out specific activities on social media to reach the right audience with the right message instead of improvising and hoping for the best.

There’s a FREE Marketing Roadmap exercise to help organize and clarify your marketing efforts. CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED.

KNOWING YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE FOR POSTS

Are you posting and communicating with specific groups in mind? Or, are you posting and hoping it finds the right people? Reaching more people is certainly part of the goal. What’s more important is reaching the right people. Many people increase followers and engagement without any clear results.

Part of this is because no specific audience has been identified. Most posts are for a specific audience. Specific does not have to mean small either. For example, it could be for people who have never engaged with you before. While that’s a large group, you need to consider who would want to know you exist and communicate to them at more of an introductory level than someone who is more familiar with you. When you know your target audience, you’re more likely to reach them and communicate directly to them.

Every post should consider who you’re trying to reach, where they are, why they would want to know, and what you want them to do. Speaking of what you want them to do… that’s your call to action (CTA).

GIVE CLEAR CALLS TO ACTION

Every pharmaceutical ad says, “Talk to your doctor about whether ____ is right for you”. They don’t say, “Get a prescription for…”

Why? Because to get the medication, you specifically have to talk to your doctor. You can’t write your own prescription. The message has to tell you this drug could help you AND specifically how you can get it. Sounds simple, but it’s incredibly important.

The thought of telling people what to do might seem pushy. Or, so obvious that it feels patronizing. It’s not either one of those things. The more you make people work to reach you the less likely they are to engage.

Review the three months of social media posts. How many posts are giving clear calls to action do you have?

 

Are you responsible for marketing and feel overwhelmed? Our MARKETING ROADMAP will show you how to regain control and start marketing with confidence.

All the best,

Kenny Sigler, CFRE