Like with any service you pay for, it’s likely you expect a lot from social media. After all, everyone is telling you that you MUST do it for your business to be successful, right? So you pay someone and bam! you’re huge on social media.

Except, that may not be the case. As with anything in life, if it’s worth doing you’re going to need to be consistent and strategic with it. Think of it like a diet: fads that promise instant results don’t work. The same is true for social media. You likely won’t get overnight success (nor will you from mailing postcards or taking out an ad in the Yellow Pages). Instead, you’ll see bursts of activities around each promotion and a steady increase in overall engagement over a sustained period of time.

So, since you’re likely not going to blow up overnight, it’s worth thinking through what your end goals are.

What to expect with social media

What You Should Expect from Social Media

1. Web Traffic Looking to send potential new clients to a specific landing page or get them into your sales pipeline? You’ll want to make sure that your social media posts help you achieve that goal. All too often we see people pay to sponsor posts to send their potential new clients to *other* sites. Or they send them to their home page rather than the specific product or service they’re trying to sell, or an email opt-in. Making your clients work to find what you’re trying to sell them is never in your best interest. If you’re looking to increase traffic to your website, make sure to link to exactly what you’re talking about so customers see value immediately.

2. SEO Are you looking to build a library of content that will help you come up for more terms potential clients could be searching? Then of course, you’ll want to blog for your business. Paying for links or simply throwing some tweets out is not going to improve your search ranking. Strong, relevant content on topics your clients are researching can help you achieve this goal. You can certainly promote your blog posts via social but tweets alone will not help a website with a dearth of information rank on Google.

3. New Likes/Followers If you’re simply looking to gain new followers for the sake of followers, you may be participating in an exercise in futility. There are plenty of ways (some questionable) to gain a huge following – but if they’re not the right followers who may actually convert and become brand advocates, what’s the point? If growth just to see big numbers is your goal, think through what big numbers will get you – it may just be an increase in ad costs.

4. Offer Redemption and Increased Sales This goal is one that everyone assumes they will get as a byproduct of social media. To an extent, that’s true. Being top of mind with potential clients will help increase conversion rates. However, if you are looking for a very specific offer to be redeemed within a certain timeframe, you need to craft a specific strategy. Throwing up a post and hoping to see results isn’t quite enough. You’ll need specific offer codes, tracking codes and perhaps an ad budget to boot.

Ultimately, a strong social media presence takes careful planning and strategy. It’s more even than just having strong content, as it once was. With ever changing algorithms and ad products, it’s important to think through what you’re looking to achieve in a given quarter and craft strategies to meet those specific goals. We’ve long since passed the days when you could post something on social media and expect it to drive sales. At this point, you can’t even expect even half your audience to see that post without some very specific planning.

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