The biggest weakness of social media is in its accessibility. Social media channels are free platforms for promotions if you want to set its organic growth. You might consider some sponsored ads to speed the process up. You might invest in Google ads to promote your digital channels.
Social media is an asset of your business that can be evaluated. As any investment, it can have a value and grow in value. Moreover, as any investment, it takes time until it starts bringing you return of investment and then profit.
More people see social media as the solution to anything. In reality, if you want to make social media working for you, you need three things working in conjunction with each other:
Speaks for itself. You need time to grow your audience. I am not referring to a number of followers. Followers can be completely different from your target group and serve as a extras in movie scenes: in other words, it is nice to have them.
If you are new to social media platforms (assuming your chose the right ones for your needs), you need to invest time into building your brand across those platforms before it will start paying you back. I say to my clients that usually you will see visible results oriented on long term profit channels after 4-6 months of social media management (considering the fact that there is a consistent work, no gaps).
Time is one of the most expensive resources, and one of the most valuable - not only in business but also in our personal lives. Personally, I place Time as my No.1 resource (then I place other things such as skills, money, assets, etc.). Things grow with time because if you are after long term success, you’d better set some time for it.
Patience will support you when time as a resource is running out. They work together with time to bring you to the success. Again, when you grow social media organically and only invest a bit in sponsored ads, it will certainly required your patience: some campaigns will work, some of them won’t.
Social media is a place of tests and experiments. You may need to create a campaign that sometimes doesn’t directly bring you leads or promote your product but it helps you to gather what your audience actually wants.
Just relying on social media as a source of your leads that meant magically turn into your clients won’t necessarily work.
This is why I advised to build a certain level of brand presence and awareness on social media but reach leads elsewhere. Say, Sign up for networking groups that bring your leads. You may be able to convert those leads into clients by referring them to your skillset and expertise displayed on your social media.
On my personal experience, very often I generate leads for my business on various platforms (networking groups, referrals, networking events, etc.) then I drag their attention to my Instagram account (personal one - @angela_alina and business @secret_media_ ) to transform those leads into clients. I may sometimes refer them to my blogs or other strong publications to make their final decision.
Depends on your audience and target group, you want to establish an Integrated Marketing strategy that involved a number of lead generating channels. Some of them will be leading, others will be supporting. Regardless, which one will be given a certain role, you need to establish and maintain social media presence - it strengthen your brand, increases your brand awareness, transform generated leads into clients or generate leads for other marketing and sales assets to lock in a client.
As a take away from this blog, have a think:
Has your social media investment growing and bringing to the goal of developing additional or primary digital media channels? (Again, remember about Time and Patience with this question).
What are your primary digital media channels for lead generation?
What are your secondary digital media channels for supporting your lead conversion?
Haw are your primary and secondary channels integrated with each other to bring your benefit?