Blogging, tweeting, posting to Linked-In, posting to Facebook – I’ve wondered if I’m creating a hungry beast that I have to keep feeding? Where’s the time for delivering my service, making my product? How do I manage it all?
These are all valid questions, particularly for a micro-business where you’re the owner, producer and printer-cartridge changer. And they’re concerns that I hear from people who are already in the swing of social media. Last week, though I found a few answers that set my mind at rest.
Some of those answers arrived via a free webinar about Facebook marketing delivered by Amy Porterfield, Darren Rowse at Problogger and Lewis Howes. It was an information-rich hour and it was rich information. Here are three takeaways that are key if you’re a micro-business owner who’s considering Facebook or if you need reminding about why you are on Facebook!
If like me, you’re a micro-business owner, then you’re audience is on Facebook
Facebook has 800 million active users and about one third (31%) are on the social media site multiple times each day. So, it’s a big pond to swim in. Facebook has at least 98% coverage across all generations. So, your potential customers are there.
Facebook marketing is ideal for the micro-business because it costs less
As a business owner, you’ll know what it’s like to pay (in time and money) for advertising, direct mail, telemarketing or trade shows. These traditional marketing channels are all outbound where we’re trying to ‘interrupt’ potential customers.
In contrast, inbound marketing channels like Twitter, Facebook and Linked-In, focus more on being ‘found’. Through social media sites, we create places where potential customers or referrers can arrive and connect and give us permission to market to them.
The point is, inbound marketing channels are more cost effective. Three out of four inbound marketing channels cost less than any outbound channel. (1)
For a micro-business, they are ideal.
A clear strategy will help you ward off the hungry beast
There are many different ways to grow and engage fans but having a clear strategy will help focus your time and efforts. Some of the points, Amy Porterfield talked about are:
- Understand who you want to attract to as your ideal audience
- What do you want your audience to experience – are you entertaining them, educating them or both?
- Automate links across social media and your website to drive traffic to Facebook
- Have a custom welcome tab that immediately encourages them to opt-in so they give you a ‘like’
- Allocate 15-20 minutes daily to post and respond and engage..
Knowing that your potential customers are likely to be on Facebook, recognising that social media can be cost-effective and having a clear strategy establish a good rationale for using social media.
So, if you’re guessing that you’ll see me on Facebook soon, you’re absolutely right!
But here’s another point and I’m interested in your thoughts on it:
Fans, followers, subscribers expect you to engage with them regularly
Fans, followers and subscribers are only potential customers if you engage with them regularly, consistently and promptly. This means creating a relationship,valuing it, nurturing it and seeing these fans, followers and subscribers move from simply ‘liking’ your business to absolutely loving it! Engagement is critical. And it can be enjoyable and fruitful. It can also be consuming.
I had a conversation last week with a micro-business owner who needed to take a break from her 2700 Facebook fans – no more engaging until January 16. It was essential. She needed to take time out for herself and her family. The office was taking over. She’d given too much to engaging and not enough to herself. Taking a break seems to be a good strategy. I’ve read an article about taking blogging breaks.
The greater challenge seems to be managing it all along the way – keeping content and contact and all the other parts of life singing rather than screaming.
Is it all about personal management? Developing good work practices regardless of the medium?
What strategies do you use for managing it all?
SOURCE: (1.) Hubspot
State of Inbound Marketing Report, 2011