Social media can connect you with customers, but only if it’s used effectively. A survey from Manta, an online business community, found that while more companies used social media in 2012 than the year before, only around 40 percent saw a return on their investment. Luckily, simple steps can help ensure you get the most for your time and money. We talked with three social media experts for easy-to-implement approaches that can help increase both engagement and efficiency.
1. Get your social profiles in shape. Mana Ionescu, president of Lightspan Digital in Chicago estimates that many small businesses could waste around an hour a day brainstorming the perfect tweet or post. To overcome this roadblock, her agency developed the Daily Social Media Workout, a list of very specific tasks, such as retweeting two interesting tweets and sharing two photos, so businesses have an action plan and can learn best practices along the way. One client, Gateway for Cancer Research in Schaumburg, Ill., grew its Facebook fans by 166 percent in 8 months with the tool and consistent social media work, and quadrupled its Twitter followers. Ashlee Landis, marketing specialist for Gateway for Cancer Research, says she uses the list each day to help her search for content more efficiently and post information that fans and post content that engaged followers, saving the group 3-4 hours a week. She says, “It encourages working smarter instead of harder.”
Coyote Logistics, another client, found similar results after using the tool for organization and topic coverage. After eighteen months, the company previously had no social presence grew to 2,300 Twitter followers and more 2,400 Facebook fans.