Social media tools can be a wonderful way to increase your business’ visibility while also improving communication with existing customers. However it is not a “magic bullet,” and relying on social media exclusively to build your business is usually a mistake. That said, there are ways to improve the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts, in order to increase your overall bottom line. Here are 5 tips to improve your social media marketing:

  1. Focus. Instead of jumping onto Facebook or Pinterest and getting swept away with posts from your friends, force yourself to focus on business objectives and goals for the time you’ve allotted for social media marketing for your business. Of course, this means that you need to HAVE some goals for your time. Think about what you’d like social media to do for your business, and write it down. Things like increasing reorders from existing customers, encouraging team members to reach their goals, etc. Then, when you go online, work on activities that are directly related to those goals.
  2. Find the Locals. Yes, social media tools can be great for reaching people far away. But it can be even more effective in helping you build deeper relationships with the people you know casually in your own community. So figure out where the locals hang out online. Is it a Facebook Page or Group for your church or town? A website set up for town issues? Find out where the people you know spend their time, and become actively involved. It’s a great way to build relationships which can ultimately help to increase your business’ visibility.
  3. Do One Thing Well. Rather than trying to have a presence EVERYWHERE online, determine the social site where you’ll both enjoy spending time, and get the most social media “bang for your buck.” Two sites that seem to be doing good things for those in sales right now are Facebook and Pinterest. But whichever site you choose, pick one and really learn it. Invest the time in becoming part of the community, have conversations, and avoid the temptation to just blast your advertisement and move on. This will bring you much greater success than a “finger in every social media pot.”
  4. Time Yourself. How long do you typically spend on social media tools? How does that translate into dollars? If you’re spending a lot of time on social media tools and it’s not translating into sales the way, say, meeting new clients face to face does, then maybe you should reevaluate how much time you’re spending online.
  5. Measure Your Results. One of the biggest mistakes business owners make when using social media is the failure to measure. Setting up a Facebook Page is not enough. You MUST know how it’s working for you, and if the activities on your page are bringing you closer to your goal. So start by defining a goal for your online efforts, and then look at the analytics of each tool, along with the sales you produce, to determine whether the activities you’re engaging in are worth the time you’re investing. At the end of the day, you’re in business to make money. Make sure the work you’re doing brings results.

By making slight adjustments to the way you “do” social media marketing, you can enjoy big improvements which impact your bottom line positively.

What have we missed? What tips do you have to improve social media marketing for small business owners? We would love to read your thoughts and comments below.