We’ve previously discussed some of the fundamentals of marketing strategy, from defining your product to identifying target customers and the right routes to market. With that groundwork in place this edition of ‘Marketing your Interim Career’ takes a look at the channels and tools you can utilise as part of your marketing efforts starting with social media.
It’s important to recognise that different social media platforms each have their own benefits and challenges but platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others can offer tremendous opportunity for your small business to connect with potential clients and grow your brand, so if you decide to have a presence on social media (and our view is you should!) you’ll need to approach it in a strategic manner and consider your options before ‘diving in’
The good news is, some of this work has already been done! if you’ve embarked on the exercise of identifying target audience and routes to market you should already be in the enviable position of knowing who your customer is and how you’re going to reach them. Armed with that information you can then start to think about the practical aspects of social media such as deciding what you want to post, on which channel and how often.
There’s plenty of great advice out there from social media experts on how much you should post, how little, at what time, what not to say, how to plan your content, getting content to ‘go viral’… the list is endless but we’d really advocate a start slow and simple approach take the time to think about what is valuable to your audience (your potential customer) draw on your experience of what expertise and information people have found valuable from you and take it from there, additionally whilst you may have identified a few different channels which can be used to reach your potential client you don’t need to explore them all at the same time and unlike marketing professionals you’re not being judged on your social media figures so don’t be afraid to take the time to consider what will work for your audience and your client based on your own industry knowledge and apply your efforts one channel at a time.
Once you’ve put your plans into action you’ll soon be keen to know if your approach is working, fortunately, most major social media platforms make it really simple to gain a clear picture of how your updates are performing. As a starting point if you can see people are engaging with your content, sharing, retweeting or liking then these are good indicators that you’re on the right track, if you’re not seeing these things then don’t despair, take advantage of the analytics available to tweak your social media practices and reassess.
Social media is easily measurable which is great but like most business activity it will become much more valuable when you align it to something tangible, setting realistic goals around what you want your social media activity to achieve whether that’s visits to your website or email enquiries is essential but here’s the critical thing to remember, social media will not transform your business fortunes overnight. What it will do with consistent effort is lead to increased visibility and brand awareness, and as a result more opportunity for your business.
Social media is low cost, low risk and as such we’d argue there are almost no reasons not to incorporate it into your marketing activity and the sooner you begin the sooner you’ll see the impact for your business and your interim career.
In the next edition of ‘Marketing Your Interim Career,’ we’ll take a closer look at the benefits of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for your business.