At a Christmas party the other day, a friend complained that his company was misdirecting marketing budget to ineffective social media efforts. Having a good sense of where and how his prospects researched, he felt he could better use that budget in traditional lead generation and nurturing efforts.
He’s not alone. As a freelancer, I’ve been on the spot more than once when a client insisted they needed Facebook page or a Twitter presence—without having any strategy for what that page or presence would do or whether prospects would ever engage there.
According to eMarketer blog, most companies are increasing their social media spending, but it’s not always for the right reasons.
Here are a few signs that you may be ‘burning up’ budget in social media:
- You have no defined strategy other than ‘Let’s have a Facebook page!”
- You build pages, blogs, or groups but have no plan for populating them with content regularly.
- You hire someone to do a video series that gains only 5 views on YouTube.
- Your employees are the only ‘fans’ of your Facebook page – and they never post anything.
- You give one person the responsibility for maintaining Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the blog in your company – and blame them if it doesn’t pay off.
I admit, these may be exaggerated scenarios, but you know exactly what I mean if you’ve seen something similar.
Don’t have that extra budget to burn? Then make sure you get the most bang for your buck from your social media efforts. That starts, of course, with understanding where your customers and prospects are actually participating online. Once you know that:
- Integrate social media in your marketing strategy, so that campaigns build on and reinforce each other across channels.
- Have clear objectives for your social media efforts – and recognize that in some cases it can be better for nurturing and supporting existing clients than generating new leads.
- Test and measure your results, to see if the spending is worthwhile or if you should refine your strategy.
- Reevaluate your efforts regularly. Just because your prospects aren’t active on Facebook today doesn’t mean that they won’t be in six months. There’s no standing still.