How to kick your social media results up a notch
By Mike Foti
Raise your hand if you’re overwhelmed or uncertain about what to do on social media to grow your home organization business.
If you didn’t raise your hand you either (a) have a separated shoulder or (b) have the ego the size of Antonio Brown’s helmet and are now referring to yourself in the 3rd person. I’ll admit, I feel overwhelmed and I’m writing this article.
Everyone says you have to be on social media. But the questions are:
• What are you trying to achieve on social media?
• What networks to post on?
• What to post about?
• How the ‘h-e-double-hockey-sticks’ are you going to find the time to do this work?
If you feel social media is a big pain in the rear, you’re not alone. If finding the time to do it is getting harder, I’m with you. With soooooo many changes in social media it’s confusing to say the least.
Here’s a quick snapshot of the ‘state of social media’ from my P.O.V.
The state of social media and how it’s screwing up your ‘day-job’
Twitter is infested with bots. Facebook is the creepy Big Brother you never wanted. Organic traffic (‘er Free traffic for those playing at home) keeps heading south. Social networks want to get more of their big paws on your limited cash.
Competition for eyeballs is fierce. The number of social networks you could use is growing like weeds. To make matters worse, there are countless ways you’ve been told you should be posting. You need images, text and videos.
And oh, by the way, you’ve got a closet, garage and cabinetry day-job to do also.
So, in this competitive, untrusting, and ADD-inducing world of social media, how can you kick up your social media results? How can you have time for your day-job leading, designing, marketing and installing cabinetry and home organization systems and post on social media also?
I’ll give you 7 quick tips to help move your social media results up the ‘increment holes’ of success (yes – that’s a bad closet pun, but I resemble this remark).
Tip 1) Ask why your business is on social media in the first place
Without a ‘why’ you’re wasting time on social. Have a purpose or don’t participate. Here’s some goals to improve your social media results which can make sense:
• Goal 1 – Drive traffic to your web site and/or blog to gain email addresses. Use the email addresses to market to prospects and customers (note – this is the #1 reason my company does social).
• Goal 2 – Gain top of mind awareness of your slick design capabilities
• Goal 3 – Get prospects and customers talking about closet and home storage problems.
Your ‘why’ will help focus on ‘what’ you post.
Tip 2) Focus where you get the biggest bank for your buck
I hated (largely) abandoning Twitter. We built up over 35,000 followers (on 3 accounts). When this platform stopped allowing repeating tweets from automated scheduling programs the effort we put in, wasn’t the return we got out.
Assuming you’re measuring social media results (and if not, you’ll want to get help doing this), you need to take a hard look where you’re posting and what the return is on each social network.
For example, just because Facebook is the largest network doesn’t mean it will get you the best return. In my nationwide laminate shower and tub wall panel distribution business the network which rocks the house for us is…. Pinterest, not the ‘big-boy’ network, Facebook.
Know your results by network. Only spend time on those which help you achieve your goals (see tip 1).
Tip 3) Be realistic
Accept you’re ‘not going viral.’ Not now, likely, not ever.
Accept that Facebook is a ‘pay to play’ network. Pay ‘the man’ (‘er Mr. Zuckerberg) by buying adds, then you’ve got a chance of making something happen.
Accept the pace of change in social networks and posting strategies will move faster than you have the time to keep up. Play (anyway) in this world, even though you feel behind.
Tip 4) Don’t be the annoying guy or gal at the ‘social media cocktail party’
Most people post on social media like the most annoying person at a cocktail party or networking event. They only have ONE thing on their minds. That thing is …themselves (ok – themselves and their business)
They’re annoying. They’re full of ‘it’ …and ‘it’ ain’t good.
Social media is about being…. well…. social. Don’t strictly promote your specials and constantly invite people to your showroom to see your latest, greatest closet display.
Just like at a cocktail party or networking event your goal is to ask good questions. You want to get others talking about their favorite subject…. themselves. Ask good questions. Get people talking.
Here’s some questions to get the ‘social media home organization party’ started:
• What’s the most frustrating thing about your closet, pantry or garage?
• Do you have enough shoe storage in your closet today? Does your spouse or ‘significant utter’ agree?
• Is an organized closet (pantry, garage etc.) a want or a need?
Tip 5) ‘Grease the skids’ for sharing
As you know, it’s hard to get social media shares and conversions (‘er sign ups for your email list or Free design consultations). This is obviously (for most of us at least) what social media (for business) is supposed to do. To make this happen, you’ve got to create the ‘right environment’ for results. But how, you may ask? Here’s a few ideas:
• 1) Write a story about your customer and how your design solved a problem(s). Ask your customer to share the story to their networks.
• 2) Create a short video testimonial featuring your customer and your designers/ installers who made the job a success. Ask them (beg them, bribe them (just kidding) all to share this video (or story) to their social networks.
• 3) Create (and use) branded hashtags around your area of expertise. Use the hashtags in your social media posts to broaden ‘conversations’ beyond your immediate network.
Tip 6) Forget what your frustrated Mom or Dad used to say, “If I have to repeat myself one more time.’ It’s time to start repeating yourself.
Mom got mad when I made her repeat herself over and over again. And today, If I’m being real, I’m not sure I’m much better. My wife Rose says I have the ‘listening skills of a guy’ (and that’s not a compliment!).
Although being able to ‘say’ and/or post something one time on social media (and getting your message across and ‘acted upon’) would be wonderful, there’s two problems expecting this strategy to work:
• Problem #1 – The networks are saturated with messages.
• Problem #2 – None of us are smart enough to know – beforehand – which message will encourage the most responses and encourage people to interact.
There is, however, one secret (shhh) to increase the chances of your social media messages being seen, heard and interacted with. This secret is to repeat your message. The secret is to create multiple versions of the same message.
For example, Michelle, our marketing manager, creates two to three images to promote each of our blog posts (they are developed in ‘quick-to-edit’ programs like Canva and Picmonkey). She promotes them at optimal times using scheduling programs including Buffer, Tailwind and MeetEdgar.
You’ll get more clicks, shares and likes out of one piece of content when you repeat yourself. You can even do A/B testing and see what works best (and repeat it some more).
Tip 7) Get help
I’m convinced it’s impossible to keep up with social media.
However, you can cheat and find help. Here’s three ways to do this:
• Idea 1 – Hire a Marketing Assistant or Marketing Manager – If your business has a large enough budget (note: you may be able to find money by finally blowing up those Yellow Page ads or print publications which have been sucking wind for years). Add a person who is smart (and passionate to learn) to lead your company’s social media efforts.
• Idea 2 – Contract the work out – Find the right company to do your social media posting and distribution. If you do hire a clunker, you’ll end up doing 75% of the work and wasting 100% of your money (many of us are having a ‘déjà vu all over again moment right now). Hire and hire again until you find the right company (our company went through 3 digital marketing companies until we found a winner).
• Idea 3 – Invest in automation tools – Programs like Buffer, Tailwind and MeetEdgar (and a ton of others beyond this) will help you know the optimal times to post (based on your followers) and even automate the process. You can be ‘actively’ posting and sleeping at the same time.
I wish I could tell you winning in social media is simple. It’s has not been for me and our company. I will tell you it is about being strategic. Know why you’re spending the time. Only put your efforts in places where you get results.
To get a bigger bang for your buck, you need to be thoughtful and ‘social’ to stand out from the crowd (and not be annoying).
As you head into the New Year ask, “Does my social media program need a makeover?”
Maybe I can be your ‘new ‘friend’ in the home organization business?
Although I’ve written this article about social media, I’m not writing it because I’m a consultant looking for your money. Like you, I’m just a person looking to grow a home organization (and a few other) businesses and not blow too much money on hairbrained marketing schemes along the way.
As a fellow person in the home organization business, I’d be happy to help you as each of us strives to grow. Feel free to visit our storage and closet organization blog – Professionally Organized or call me about this biz or social media at 216-310-1074. I’d be glad to give you my two cents (without even charging you two cents) worth and help in any way I can.
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.