We have to admit this past year was amazing, with plenty of client work to keep us busy. We made critical connections through both offline and online marketing and lead generation. The only problem was that we just couldn’t find the time to manage a Yellowdot social media campaign. It’s the classic case of the shoemaker and his shoes.

This is something we’re about to change.

To be honest, last year we simply didn’t make social media our priority. We got wrapped up in client deadlines and found plenty of reasons to procrastinate. If you’re a small business owner, you know what I’m talking about. Our marketing strategy to date has been to leverage speaking engagements combined with direct sales outreach to build brand awareness locally. This strategy has paid off well and we’re happy with both the connections and new business we’ve generated. And while we did use LinkedIn extensively for lead generation and data mining, we really didn’t rely it as a platform to increase our visibility and broadcast our message.

So why are we choosing to focus on social media today?

Social signals mean credibility. Gone are the days where you could get by with a website alone. Prospects want to see that you’re active on social media. Social signals have become an important part of the buyer’s journey as they seek out brands they can trust, and it’s important that we continue to inspire loyalty and remain competitive in the marketplace.

Small businesses have embraced social media. That’s got to mean something. Small businesses have figured out how to increase the ROI from social media, with nearly 40% of small business owners reporting a significant return on investment, and 73% of high-performing small businesses reporting increased spending on social media in the last year. About half of small businesses are increasing the time they spend on social media sites from a few years ago.

Social media gives us direct access to key audiences. Small business owners have a new opportunity, one that just isn’t there with traditional marketing: the ability to open direct lines of communication with prospects and customers. This means we can show up where our target audiences gather and join in on their conversations. That’s pretty powerful stuff. As we bring our circle closer, we’ll broadcast our value proposition over and over and align our brand with the values of our target audiences.

Our Social Media Goals

If you’ve been to one of our Marketing Strategy workshops, you know that a big sticking point of ours is to be painfully specific when it comes to marketing goals. It’s the only way we’ve found to hold ourselves and our clients accountable for measurable results. So here goes.

Our social media goals for this year:
  • Increase followers and likes by 10%
  • Increase engagement by 5% with relevant prospects and communities
  • Increase website traffic by 50%, and conversions by 10%
  • Increase website conversions by 10%
  • Repost content to expand its reach
How we’re going to do it:
  • Post one blog article each week for the first month, and scale up to three articles per week by month 6. We’ll distribute the articles through our profiles and connect with key influencers to share our content.
  • Produce three e-books to increase our mailing list, and promote the e-books in our blog articles and social media campaigns.
  • To make social conversions as easy as possible, we’ll simplify the steps to make a purchase and encourage direct customer action through things like tweet purchases, mobile clicks to call, and Facebook registrations.
  • We’ll rely on buyer personas for audience segmentation so we can determine the best content to deliver and which platforms to use.
  • Because paid social media now leads to 25% more conversions than organic social media, we’ll focus on increasing the potential reach and relevance of our paid campaigns by distributing valuable content at different stages of our audiences’ buying cycle.

So now that we’ve experienced some growth for our business through other marketing avenues, we’re ready to get social, and we’ve mapped a solid strategy to build our brand and extend our market reach. Social media is a key ingredient in our marketing mix now, and it should be a key ingredient in your mix too.