How To Simplify Your Social Media Plan & Improve Your ROI
By Bridget Crawford
It this point in time it’s clear that Social Media is important—it’s hard to imagine a world without it. It’s impossible to go out in public and not see people scrolling through Facebook or Twitter on their phones, or watching videos on YouTube. Social Media is all around us and it’s not going away any time soon.
Due to the popularity of Social Media, it’s imperative that businesses have active Social Media pages. You don’t have time as a business owner to worry about Social Media, especially because it’s difficult (close to impossible, actually) to track sales that come through your Social Media platforms. For that reason we’d like to discuss two items that will help you use your Social Media platforms in the most cost–effective ways possible—simplification and return on investment.
We recommend posting to Facebook and Twitter approximately two to three times per week, posting to your blog once or twice per month, and uploading/sharing videos to YouTube once per month. If you follow this rule of thumb, you will show your Social Media visitors that you have an active social presence without overwhelming them with too much content.
Below are a few ideas on how to simplify your Social Media posting so you’ll have more time to focus on your business:
1. Link your Facebook and Twitter accounts. You’re able to link Facebook to Twitter so that everything you post on Facebook will automatically post to Twitter as well. If the post is over the character limit, it will get abbreviated automatically on Twitter.
Note: You can also link Twitter to Facebook. However, we recommend only linking one to the other (i.e. Facebook to Twitter OR Twitter to Facebook), otherwise there will be too much noise on your social platforms.
2. Set up a Hootsuite account. Hootsuite allows you to schedule multiple posts in one setting. We recommend creating between 8 and 12 posts per month at one time (i.e. pet care industry articles, grooming tips, holiday posts). Then, you can spend about 30 minutes to an hour to schedule posts for the entire month. This will save you the trouble of having to deal with the hassle of posting on Facebook or Twitter every few days.
3. Bulk schedule your blog posts. Take an afternoon every few months and write four to six blog posts. Then log in to your blog (we recommend Blogger or WordPress) and schedule them to post over the next few months.
4. Research YouTube videos at the beginning of each month. Search for a few industry related videos (i.e. how to teach a dog a trick) and add those videos to your YouTube Channel playlists twice per month. It’s extremely simple and it only takes one minute to add a video to a YouTube Channel playlist.
5. Get your entire facility involved. All of the Social Media posting does not have to fall on you. Split it up amongst several of your employees. One employee can do the research, another employee can write the posts and a third can schedule the posts. Breaking up the work will make it go much faster, plus it’s a fun responsibility that most employees will want to help with.
If you follow the steps listed above, you can simplify your Social Media postings and save yourself a lot of time and money, which leads us to the next section—return on investment.
Return On Investment (ROI)
Tracking whether or not your business is getting new sales through Social Media is extremely difficult. Having said that, Social Media is an essential marketing tool for your business. It’s your online storefront—where you share your latest business updates, pictures of your employees and client dogs, and most importantly, where you connect with your customers. While all online platforms are important, Social Media is invaluable in that it shows your business in real time.
It’s also important to keep in mind that Social Media platforms are free, unlike most Websites or marketing materials. For that very reason, there really isn’t any excuse to not invest time in them. If you follow the suggestions in this article, you will find you have time for Social Media.
Remember, consumers check different Social Media platforms to read reviews and see what you’re posting. Today’s consumers often have to decide between two different pet care facilities – or between your facility and an independent pet care pro – and if one has an active Facebook Page and another doesn’t, you’d better believe they’re likely going to call the former. Why? If a business takes the time to interact with their customers on Social Media, that’s a sign they’re going to take the time to work with their customers in person as well.
Below are a few tips and tricks to improve your Social Media’s ROI:
1. Interact with your customers. Interaction is extremely important on Social Media. Pay attention to your social platforms. If someone asks a question on a post or via a private message, reply within a timely manner. If someone leaves you a positive review, reply thanking them for the input. If someone leaves you a negative review, reply thanking them for their feedback and let them know you’ll be reaching out to discuss further.
2. Keep track of your Insights. Check your Facebook Page’s Insights to see which of your posts have received the most interaction (i.e. likes, comments, shares) and take note of what was different about that post. What time of day did you post? Did you post a picture? Did you ask a question? These are keys to figuring out what your customers like seeing most on social sites.
3. Ask for feedback. Ask your customers what they want to see on your Social Media platforms. Do they want more pictures? More tips? Fewer posts? It could be a myriad of things, but the key is to take their feedback and actually use it. Your customers will appreciate that they’re being heard and, in turn, will continue to work with you for years to come.
The secret to having a great Social Media presence is to remember that, while Social Media is important for your business, it’s also meant to be fun. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and allow Social Media to be the fun side of work – something you want to work on at the beginning of each month. If you follow this rule of thumb, you’ll notice that posting on Social Media is simple and, at the end of the day, completely worth the time and money you invest in it.
Bridget Crawford is the Social Media Team Lead for Market Hardware, Inc and brings nearly 10 years of experience in Social Media management. Market Hardware helps pet care businesses compete on the Web with customized Web Marketing programs. You can reach Bridget’s team at 888-381-6925.