There’s no way that any business can ignore the importance of online marketing but here’s a true story about how to waste money on social media.
A few months ago I had a brief chat with a friend, called Lucy, who runs a gardening company. As you do, I asked her it was going and how business was faring.
She said that it was good but then said that she was a bit frustrated by social media.
When I asked her what she meant she told me that she’d been spending money each month on a ‘social media management’ service but not seeing any returns.
To be honest, I wasn’t all that surprised. But I asked her what she really meant.
She said that she’d engaged a local company, who was in her breakfast networking club, because she knows that social media is important but she doesn’t have the time or the skill to properly manage it herself.
It was at this point that she apologised to me and said that she should have spoken with me first to get my opinion.
She even went on to say that when she asked her social media manager about what she was getting for her money the response was something like “Your brand is becoming well known online and you have over 2000 Twitter followers”.
At this point I nearly fell of my chair because I know that I’d told Lucy a while back that ALL marketing activity and spend should lead to a measurable return on investment. You should be able to track where your customers are coming from.
By this time Lucy was looking a little sheepish since she knows that if she’d given me a call I’d have talked her through what she needed to know about managing social media.
So, my advice to Lucy was to immediately go back to her social media bod and state that unless her spend on social media management quickly turned into actual enquiries for gardening services then she was going to pull the plug on paying for it.
You see, here at Buzz we know that small businesses and the self-employed don’t have huge budgets for marketing. We also know that brand-building is a luxury that very few small businesses can afford.
Yes you need to be known in your market but you need to be known for the right things. And ‘just being there’ isn’t one of them.
Now we’re not trying to say that hiring a social media management company is a bad idea or that you shouldn’t spend money on social media management, in some cases it can be a very good way of reaching a market and developing a list of potential customers.
But you absolutely need to have a reason for doing it. You need to know what you’re going to get out of it. You need to have a plan for leveraging those contacts and that activity. You need to be able to say “in the last X months our social media spend has led to X clients and X profit”.
Yes it takes a bit of thought and effort, but any social media marketing company worth its salt should be able to help you with this.
Social media is a wonderful thing but, from a business perspective, should always be considered a marketing effort that brings about some kind of return.
So, if you want to know how to waste money on social media, just haphazardly give some money to a social media manager and tell them to ‘do some social media’ (or words to that effect).