That is a good question. First, let’s make sure we are all on the same page. I am understanding this statement to mean, “How long should a Christian business owner spend managing social media for my business?” That is a question we can talk about here on Christian business revolution.
Components of Social Media
Many business owners do not realize there is more to social media than just posting. You have likes, replies, mentions, friends, followers, etc. Each different type of social media has its own rules and practices. Sure there are some overlaps, but knowing how to get the best ROI for each is your goal.
Managing social media is more than just posting some links to things you sell. It is about reputation, customer service, customer acquisition and building a following of raving fans. When someone asks me how long they should spend doing those things, I start by saying, “As long as it takes.” This gets them in a new frame of mind. Then, I say, “First, you should start with strategy which is what takes time to develop. Then, running the plan could take five, ten or twenty minutes a day.”
In this article, we will help point you to strategically using social media. I you to realize the significance of social media in today’s world and especially for your business. You don’t need to be on social media all day, but you can’t only post once a week I wonder why social media is not working for you. You must have an integrated social media strategy for your business. That means you must know your customers, you must know your business and you must know your goals.
[bctt tweet=”Social media is a construction tool. Use it to build bridges and make connections with customers.”]
Christian business owners know their customers
The better you know your customers, the easier it is to find things they relate to. I work with a T-shirt company who sells to sororities. He had not been on social media much for personal things much less business. I took him online and showed him some of the sororities social media accounts and some popular blogs for that demographic.
Once you know who your target audience is, you should post information that is relevant to your target audience. Go to sites and social media places where they hang out. You can see which social media channels they are using and you can see what they are reacting to.
Exercise: First, make sure you have properly identified your target audience. Who is most likely to buy from you? (Think age, gender, location, lifestyle.) Then, go online to a blog that may be popular to your target audience. What kind of things are they posting? Do you notice any trends or patterns in what they post? Are they more active on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn or Youtube? (You can tell if they are active by the amount of comments and shares on the posts.)
Christian business owners know their business
The better you know your industry the more relevant things you can post. Let’s not get hung up here, you should be posting what is relevant to your audience, not what is relevant to your business. You should know your business well enough to be able to share insights, stories of change, and new developments. However, that should be interspersed with information that your target audience would find helpful.
I work with a standby generator company. He has two targets, homes and businesses. When we post to social media, we have to keep in mind that ‘people’ are more likely to go online, not businesses. If we post relevant information to those people, the business owners will hear about what he does. He could post all day about how cool his generators are, but his target wants to know how to protect their family and their home. They want to know how to survive if things go bad and he has enough knowledge to share what kind of things could happen and how to avoid them.
Exercise: Write a simple blog post or Facebook post answering the top ten questions related to your product or service. Then, instead of bragging about all that you do, offer tips are related to your business? When you think about posting on social media, do you just post things from your business or do you post relevant topics for your ideal customer? Look to post 5-10 items relevant to your customer to every 1-2 things relevant to your specific business.
Christian business owners know their goals.
Every social media channel that you have must have a goal. Many business owners I know just ‘want to be seen.’ Your strategy must be more than that. Many business owners follow up with the statement “I just want more customers.” That is not a goal that can be built as a strategy. If you want more customers, you go where customers are and interact with them.
There are many ways to ‘get more customers’ using social media, but we must define our goals for social media. Social media does not work if your focus is on selling. Your focus must be on the people and your interaction with them.
Here are some questions to help you think about a strategy that could work on social media for you.
- Do you want customers to interact with your brand more so they buy more online?
- Do you want current customers to buy more by coming into your store?
- Do you want current customers to tell their friends and bring you more referrals?
- Do you want new customers to find you and become a loyal fan?
You may not realize it, but each of those questions above is a different strategy. Based on the desired action you want your ideal customer to take, you develop a strategy to bring them into your business.
Exercise: Developing a social media strategy takes time. Let’s start simply and you can build your strategy based on what is working as you take strategic action. What exactly do you want to accomplish with social media? What type of information should you be posting to attract and interact with those customers? How can you ‘enter the conversation’ as a business.
Social media is a great tool, but you must think of it like a tool. Take time to understand that tool and learn to use it to build an online presence you can be proud of. You don’t have to do it all yourself, but I suggest laying out the strategy and attempting to do it yourself before hiring a person to do it for you. Then, you will know how long it should take and what all it entails.